Question marks

When will the Library building reopen?

The exact date isn’t yet known, but when it is, we will post it to the Library website. Our reopening will occur in conjunction with state and county public health guidelines for the reopening of higher education, which could result in adjustments to our plans. 

When the Library reopens, only a limited portion (initially, the first two floors) of the main building will be open for study space in order to support more frequent and deeper cleaning of spaces. Everyone in the Library will be expected to wear face coverings and respect social distancing. Current hours will always be posted on our website.

Music Library reopening plans have not yet been decided. Please scroll down for information on planning for appointment-based access to the Music Library collections.

How can I access collections in the Library?

On June 22, we began offering a material requesting and pickup service for faculty and graduate students. On July 20, we extended these services to undergraduate students and UCSB staff. 

There are also many ways the Library can provide you with expert virtual help and services if you are studying or working remotely.

I am a community patron. When can I access the Library again?

Because we will only be reopening a portion of the building, we will be restricting access to UCSB students, staff, and faculty to maximize the opportunity for UCSB students to find a study space. When we are able to open the entire Library building and Music Library, we will be able to open again to the general public. 

What precautions are you taking to protect Library users?

Anyone inside the Library will be required to follow all state, county, and campus public health guidelines. These include maintaining social distance and wearing face coverings, as well as frequent handwashing. The Library will provide face coverings to Library users and staff as needed. Hand sanitizer stations and disinfectant wipes will be placed throughout the building. 

When study space is reopened, we will be limiting the density in the building by reducing the number of seats.

When will Special Research Collections materials be accessible for research?

Special Research Collections is working on reactivation planning to provide faculty and graduate student access to our unique collections. We will be providing appointment-only access in the near future to collections located within the Library facility. At this point, access to materials located at our regional facility is unavailable for paging due to the closure of the UCLA campus. 

Please visit the Special Research Collections webpage for forthcoming information on this service. SRC hours will be updated once we are authorized to resume services. Appointments will be arranged to maintain social distancing among visitors and between visitors and staff, and masks will be required. 

When will the Music Library collections be accessible for in-person browsing?

The Music Library is in the planning stages to provide appointment-based access to their collections in late summer or early fall. Appointments will be arranged to maintain social distancing among visitors and between visitors and staff, and masks will be required.

When will I be able to request books from Interlibrary Loan (ILL) again?

ILL borrowing is dependent on partner libraries being open and staffed to process requests. We anticipate that other research libraries, including other UC campuses, will begin to open over the summer and into the fall and we will reintroduce ILL book borrowing as soon as our lending partners are open. Currently, articles and book chapters from other libraries can be requested and delivered electronically. For help, email

Can I return my books?

The book return at the Paseo West entrance (for Main Library books) and the book return at the Music Library (for Music materials only) are open. Returned books may remain on your library account longer than usual as we have limited staff in the buildings to process them. Please email if you have questions.

If I'm no longer in the Santa Barbara area, can I return my books by mail?

Yes. If you are out of town and cannot return your Library materials to the book returns on campus, you can mail them back or send them via a courier such as UPS or Federal Express, to the following address:

Services Desk / UCSB Library
525 University Center Rd.
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-9010

Be sure to include a prominent note with the books (or on the ILL book straps, if ILL material): "Please check in."

As with other return methods, returned books may remain on your library account longer than usual as we have limited staff in the buildings to process them.

What if my books are overdue?

Most due dates have been extended until January 20, 2021 or later. Please consult your Library account for the exact date. No overdue fines are being charged at this time. 

If I purchased a Community Card, will I get a refund? 

We cannot refund Community Cards because those payments are made to the UC Board of Regents, but we will extend the card privileges after we reopen to the public for the outstanding amount of time that the patron was entitled to when we closed.


If you have questions about the building reopening that aren’t answered here, please email

This article last updated 9/3/2020