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There is much anticipation at Fleet Library, as we prepare to welcome students, faculty, and staff back into the physical spaces of the library on Tuesday, September 1. 
Some things have changed. We've removed furniture; installed plexiglass screens at Circulation (which will now double as our Reference desk); and added an admissions desk just inside the first floor entrance. Your health and safety are our top priority! With all of these measures and others described below, the aim is to bring the community back into Fleet in the safest possible way. 
Mask-wearing and social distancing will be mandatory, and high touch surfaces will be cleaned often. Signage will be clear, and library staff will be available for guidance. Other essential information is provided below for each area of the library.

For those not returning to campus, we continue to offer a whole host of remote resources and virtual consultations with our librarians and archivists

Our COVID Remote Operations page has the most up-to-date information about all of our services, on-site and off. In addition to this, please remember we're always just an email, phone call or Zoom invitation away! 

Wishing you the best start to this most extraordinary semester,
Margot McIlwain Nishimura
Dean of Libraries

P.S. There are summary updates for all academic support services on the website, which is not just about testing; it’s a comprehensive resource with the most up-to-date information about all current operations on campus
  • Beginning September 1, our Main Floor area has a limited number of  "seats" available to reserve for one hour in-person appointments: Five seats are bookable for browsing books, periodicals, theses, zines, and use of course reserve materials. Two seats are available for the use of scanners. (You may book up to two contiguous seats at a time, per day.) Appointments are available Monday-Thursday, between 2-8 pm; Friday, between 10 am-4 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, between 1-6 pm.

  • Contactless pickup of requested materials is available and encouraged: To make a request, find the book(s) or other item(s) that you would like to borrow in our online catalog; then complete this form or contact / 401-709-5901 for assistance.

  • Staff will continue to scan book chapters and articles on request: Complete this form for scans, and this form for course reserves.

  • Interlibrary Loan is available and will be picking up steam as other institutions bring their ILL operations back online.

  • No drop-ins or group meeting space are available at this time.

  • Our printers are offline until further notice. Please contact ITS for more information on campus print centers.


  • Beginning September 1, Archives + Special Collections will be offering virtual classes and in-person and virtual appointments. In-person appointments will be limited to one person per appointment. Requests must be made in advance (one month for virtual classes). No drop-ins will be permitted. Appointments are available Monday-Friday, between 9 am-12 pm & 1-4 pm.

  • Scanning of materials is on a by-request basis and at the discretion of the Archivists and Special Collections Librarian.

  • In-person group or class meetings are not available at this time.

  • More information is available on Special Collections' website.


  • Beginning September 1, four seats will be available for in-person appointments to browse the Material and Picture Collections. (You may book up to two contiguous time slots at a time, per day.) Appointments are available Monday-Thursday, between 9 am-12 pm & 2-7 pm, and Friday, between 9 am-12 pm & 1-4:30 pm.

  • Digital imaging services are available for faculty, by request.

  • Drop-ins and meeting space are not available at this time.


No worries! Here's what you need to know about returning Fleet Library and interlibrary loan (ILL) materials, whether you're back on campus or not.

Returning students and faculty have until October 11 to return Fleet books and materials to us.
Recent graduates also have until October 11 to return library materials.

Ways to return materials:
  • Book drop: If you are currently in the Providence area, you can use the book drop just inside the front doors of 15 Westminster Street (by Public Safety) anytime.
  • Mailing: Pack the items and use low cost USPS Media Mail to ship to: Fleet Library/RISD, 2 College Street, Providence, RI 02903 (email us the items you've shipped plus the tracking number). If a prepaid shipping label is helpful, please complete this form, and we will facilitate the process.
Copyright © 2020 RISD Fleet Library, All rights reserved.

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