St. Olaf Libraries

Using the Libraries During the Pandemic

Library Hours

Check our hours page for current information. Please remember to follow the College rules for public spaces, including wearing a mask, maintaining 6 feet between other library users, and frequently washing your hands or using hand sanitizer. Please note that food will not be allowed in Rolvaag and the Music Library.

To ensure the health and safety of all, the St. Olaf Libraries are available only to current students, faculty, and staff. Emeriti and retirees will be unable to access library spaces, use library computers, or check out library materials during this time. We look forward to welcoming all members of the Northfield community back into our libraries when it is safe to do so.

Getting Assistance

If your research needs don't require in-person assistance, please use our live chat (the bubble in the lower right corner of any library webpage) or submit a support ticket if you have questions or need research help. At your request, we will set up a call or Google Meet session with you.

Getting Materials

Thousands of online resources are available to you in Catalyst from anywhere in the world. You do not need to connect to the St. Olaf VPN to access these resources, but please be sure to use the links on our website or in Catalyst. You will be prompted for your username/password the first time you access a resource if you are off-campus and then you should be authorized for the rest of your web browser session.

If you are bookmarking or providing links to online resources that the library provides, please follow the steps in our permalink guide to ensure your links are configured to work for users accessing both on and off campus.

Access to physical-only materials is provided through the Catalyst Request for Library Pickup link (you must be signed in to Catalyst to see this option). You will be notified when your materials are ready for pickup. During quarantine periods, this option is available only to faculty and staff. If you are unable to pick up an item on campus, you can request a digitized copy of a small portion - 10% or less - of a work, by using the Request a Digitized Chapter/Article link.

Please submit a support ticket if you have questions.

Instruction Requests

Research & Instruction Librarians continue to be available to provide library instruction sessions and consult with faculty. Faculty can submit a request or contact their liaison librarian with any requests.

For instructions and resources for remote teaching and online learning, please visit the Academic Continuity webpage.


All our subscription databases are available for your research needs. You will be prompted to sign in with your St. Olaf username and password the first time you access one if you are off-campus. If you have problems accessing a resource, please contact submit a support ticket or use the chat bubble in the lower right corner of the databases page.

Special Collections and Archives

The Libraries are not scheduling appointments to view physical materials in the Special Collections and/or College Archives. Some of our materials are available digitally, and can be found here:

In order to capture our community's experience, the College Archives invites you to document and share how COVID-19 is impacting you. We encourage you to keep a journal, write poetry, exchange letters, create art, take photos, etc. Reflecting on what you are living through is what is important, not the format. Your story will help contribute to the broader history of St. Olaf College during this time. You can let us know you are interested in documenting and donating your experiences by filling out this form

St. Olaf College COVID-19 Information

For more information on St. Olaf services and changes related to the COVID-19 outbreak, please see the campus COVID-19 site.