Suffolk’s Sawyer Library moves resources online as students learn remotely


Emily Devlin / Managing Editor

Sawyer Library at Suffolk University

The Sawyer Library, much like classes and the rest of Suffolk University’s resources, has gone virtual.

“We wanted to make sure that the students and faculty could successfully and quickly transition to online learning,” said Gregory Heald, director of the Mildred F. Sawyer Library. 

College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer Business School students who used the library to access their class textbooks don’t have to worry. Emails have been sent out to faculty about access to e-textbooks for their classes. 

While physical books cannot be loaned,  students can still request electronic articles and book chapters

(The forms can be found on the library website under “Faculty Services – Sawyer Library” → “Interlibrary Loans” → “Interlibrary Loan Forms” in the sidebar.)

Books and other items currently checked out by students have been renewed through May 15. All fines have been waived. 

The Sawyer Library has online resources including databases, journals, streaming videos and more. 

The Moakley Archives is still available as a resource by email at [email protected] or through the Chat with a Librarian service now available on the library’s website. The Digital Collection site for the Archives also has thousands of scanned items. 

One-on-one support is offered on the Continuity of Learning Services at Sawyer Library page, or by email.

To contact Reference email [email protected].

“We know how important the Sawyer Library is to student success: supporting and acquiring access to the information tools that our graduates will utilize in their careers, facilitating student and faculty research, and being a place at Suffolk where community is deepened and enriched,” said Heald.

Heald said the library’s staff are working remotely. They were testing their systems and downloading needed software so they could continue their work from home. 

Along with the live chat on the library’s website, “librarians are available to conduct research consultations with students via Zoom, phone, or whatever works best for the student. Additionally, our collections are increasingly digital and available to current students, online, anywhere in the world,” said Heald.

Heald said that there are some services that the library cannot accommodate remotely.

“The principal gap that is apparent is that we can’t serve as that central hub bringing people together in the same way, for example the Library provides important community spaces for people to study, read, contemplate, hang-out, attend events, listen to speakers and poets, and occasionally nap,” said Heald. “We’ll have to find a different way to foster that sense of community– it will look very  different– but we’re working on some ideas.”

Despite this, Heald is excited to be able to help Suffolk students. 

“We want [students] to have rich and meaningful learning at Suffolk, and I am confident that with the Sawyer Library’s outstanding collections and services, we will deliver on that,” said Heald.

Heald encourages students to reach out to him directly at [email protected].  

“The Sawyer Library continues to be YOUR library and we welcome you in through our virtual front door,” said Heald.

Library Building: Closed

Chat Q&A: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Virtual Reference Hours: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Virtual Archives via email: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.