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Mann Library

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More eBooks & Electronic Resources Than Ever Before!

We are really pleased to announce that in response to the urgent challenge of COVID-19 mitigation, Cornell University Library is presently able to offer a significantly extended level of access to online resources. This is happening several ways: 

1. Extended open access to large collections of high-quality digitized literature is being made available for the COVID-19 emergency period via

2. The Library now also has temporary free access to over 85,000 additional e-books available through our existing subscription to ProQuest’s eBook Central library through mid-June. This almost doubles the number of e-books that Cornell faculty, students and staff can access from eBook Central via the Library catalog – and each title has unlimited access. If you’d like to get a sense of some of the titles involved, check out this page of the library catalog.

3. Finally, also extremely helpful have been the publishers who have stepped up to offer free access directly to the materials that they have released in electronic format. Publishers who’ve joined this line up that may be of particular interest to CALS and CHE faculty include:

  • JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments) video collection
  • ScienceDirect textbooks
  • World Scientific
  • MIT Press
  • Burleigh Dodds Science ebooks
  • Emerald ebooks (includes business, accounting, social sciences)
  • EBSCO (ebooks now allow unlimited user access)
  • ALEKS (mathematics, accounting, statistics, and chemistry)

Up-to-date information extended access to materials can be found at Published Free” libguide. (Please note, publishers are generally providing extended free access is only for the duration of COVID-19 mitigation period, so access rules are subject to change over the coming months).

For further information about ebooks available through the Cornell University Library—including tips on how to find available ebooks most efficiently — check out our ebook libguide. 

Still can’t find an ebook version of the book you need via a search on the Cornell University Library catalog?  You can recommend a purchase here and we’ll get on it to see if we can’t order it fast for you! 

As always if you end up with questions or need further assistance from a librarian, you can get in touch with us multiple ways, including:

One way or the other, we’ll be there for you when you need us—don’t hesitate to reach out.

Getting Your Course Reserves Right for Remote Teaching

Along with the rest of the Ithaca area, the Cornell campus is doing a great job of the social distancing required to mitigate coronavirus-19 transmission successfully. And with that—as much as we love you all, and as much as the Library doesn’t feel like a library with all this distance between us—Mann also remains closed to physical access for both staff and the public. But rest assured, we’re still 100% here for our patrons. As Cornell faculty start finalizing their preparations for successful rest-of-semester remote teaching, we want to make sure everyone is fully informed of the support and resources available for getting their course materials all set up. 

To begin, when it comes to organizing course reserves for your remote students, the first and probably most important general resource for Cornell faculty to keep in mind is this web page: It’s part of the Cornell University Library’s Support for Remote Teaching Libguide and it gives a comprehensive overview of all the different things to keep in mind as you finalize your course reserves line-up.

And just to pluck out just a few of the key points:

  • Students will be accessing electronic reserves under the “Course Reserves” menu link on their course’s Canvas site.
  • To get started on (or for questions about) making course reserve materials accessible to your remote class, CALS and CHE faculty should contact:
  • Electronic items, including items found in course packets, must meet copyright or have the permission of the copyright holder for this type of use, and the library staff will work with you regarding permissions. One nicely positive thing to keep in mind here: Faculty will likely be relieved to know that Cornell Copyright Information Center is recommending that scanned course material may be made available to students in amounts that may exceed customary fair use limits under normal circumstances. Fair use provides somewhat greater flexibility during these exigent circumstances. For full info on this, see: NEW COPYRIGHT GUIDELINES FOR COVID-19.
  • Faculty (and their students!) will also likely be happy to know that students can gain access to online course materials. The Cornell Store has partnered with VitalSource and leading publishers to launch VitalSource Helps, a program offering free access to ebooks for students. A student can use their email address to freely borrow up to seven (7) now through May 25, 2020. For more detailed instructions about this, please refer back to the CUL course reserves info page noted above.

We think that covers the main scoop on course reserves in the time of COVID-19 for now. We’ll update this page with any changes that come up. And as always, if you run into any questions or problems that you could use some one-on-one help with, please don’t hesitate to contact your Mann Library research support team or email us at We’ll get back to you right away. Stay safe and well, friends!

The Library Is Open Virtually

Over the past week, Cornell University Library staff have been working hard to make sure that Cornell libraries can continue to support teaching, learning and research at Cornell as we transition to virtual environments and remote work. The urgency of COVID-19 mitigation requires that all Cornell libraries stay closed to physical visits by the public until further notice. In compliance with the “New York State on Pause” Executive Order presently in effect, there are currently no library staff on site on the Cornell campus. However, we continue to operate a strong virtual presence to meet the needs of our faculty, staff and students.

We will be more posting detailed updates and guidance about available services and resources on the Mann Library news page over the coming days and weeks, but for now, we offer a broad overview, especially for faculty.

Access to library materials
All Cornell libraries are currently closed for physical visits by patrons and no staff are on site until further notice. Book paging and pick up as well as scanning services are also suspended for now. But Cornell University Library’s online collections are extensive, and although we are, at this time, unable to obtain physical materials or supply scanning services for items held in the Cornell Library, we are still able to supply many chapter or article scans electronically to active Cornell faculty, students and staff. Please first use the library catalog to identify resources that are available to you online. If you find you cannot get electronic access to the resource you need via the catalog, you can ask the library to purchase an ebook via the online purchase request, or you can contact library staff in a variety of ways, including via a Zoom session with a Mann librarian, and we will help you get to what you need. If you wish to connect with your favorite licensed resources directly, please remember to use Passkey to get through the paywalls.

Research support
We have a strong online help presence through the Ask-A-Librarian service, including e-mail reference and chat reference; chat services currently are available 24/7.

Library support for remote teaching
Cornell librarians stand ready to help Cornell faculty teach remotely successfully.  
  • We have created a library guide providing a host of information for faculty preparing to teach remotely. Please check out Library Support for Remote Teaching Guide to check out the info we have there (and if you see anything missing, let us know!)
  • As you identify materials that need to be moved into digital format, please use your usual channels to place requests including email to or contacting your liaison.
  • Guide to working off-campus provides helpful tips for anyone digging into work from an off-campus location.
  • Recommend a purchase can be used to obtain electronic versions of books that you find to be unavailable at Cornell. This may not be possible with all titles, but as Cornell Library has significantly increased its e-book purchasing capacity in response to the current situation, you may well find an e-version of your requested book can in fact be made available.

As everyone is likely keenly aware, the COVID-19 situation remains fluid and quickly changing. To stay as up-to-date as possible on any changes in services and resources that we are able to offer to Cornell faculty, students and staff, please check the Cornell University Library COVID-19 Library Services Update page. And please be in touch and let us know what questions and concerns you have, as well as your suggestions for moving forward:

OER Tools Help Faculty Teach and Students Learn More Affordably

Interested in lowering textbook costs for your students? Or perhaps you’re working on creating a new learning resource to help students get a better grasp of class material? We have some nice news with you in mind!


Faculty at Cornell and across the world are joining the Open Education Resources (OER) movement to save students money, take control over course materials, and improve learning. OER includes e-books, online learning modules and other course content created by teaching faculty across the world that is openly licensed and can be reused by other instructors that are hoping to assign high-quality low-cost or no-cost options to their students.


To start exploring OER repositories and learn more, check out the new OER LibGuide that Cornell librarians have created. Whether you’re interested in adopting OER into your class or in creating a new resource to share with others, the guide offers you helpful sources, tools and tips as well as contact info for getting further assistance. 

An Important Chapter in Black History, Now Off the Shelf

Mann Library has digitized and made available to the world the early 20th century magazine The Modern Farmer. Published by the National Federation of Colored Farmers (NFCF) from 1929 to 1949, this unique treasure was one of the only serial publications published in the Depression-era United States that was aimed at African-American farmers. The NFCF was an organization that formed local chapters of buying and selling distribution cooperatives for African-American farmers and their goods at a time when prevailing Jim Crow laws made such efforts dangerous. James P. Davis, The Modern Farmer’s editor and president of the NFCF, served as a Head Field Officer of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and was also a member of President Roosevelt’s “Black Cabinet,” the group of African Americans who served as public policy advisors to the President and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Mann Library’s copies of The Modern Farmer are the only known copies of this important record of 20th century history. The online collection can be found at with a search for “Modern Farmer.”

For more information on the history of this remarkable publication, see our February “Vaults of Mann” blog.

A new change of guard @ Mann

Students studying at Mann
Under Sara Wright’s management of Mann’s learning spaces, Mann facilities have been enhanced with a variety of furnishings to fit a variety of study styles and needs.

As some in the upper campus community may have already heard: There’s a new library director in town.
In late January, Cornell University Library welcomed Sara Wright as the Interim Director of Mann Library, following the retirement of Mary Ochs ’79, who led Mann Library from 2008 until January 2020. A January 27th reception celebrated Ochs’ many achievements and contributions to the Cornell University and global scholarly community, and in one of the numerous highlight moments of the occasion, Mann’s leadership torch — well, our bouquet of ceremonial corn — passed from Ochs to Wright to mark Mann’s newest dynamic transition.

Photo of Mary Ochs and Paul Wester
Mary Ochs (retiring Director, Mann Library) and Paul Wester (Director, National Agricultural Library)

Sara Wright is no stranger to Mann Library and the mission of land-grant scholarship at Cornell. Having earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Drexel University, Wright joined Mann Library’s staff in 2011 to manage the services offered to library patrons via the Stone Computing Classroom and other public computing facilities at Mann. In the following years, Sara assumed a number of other leadership positions in the Library, including Academic Technology Librarian, Head of User Services and Engagement, and Head of Learning, Spaces and Technology. Thanks to Sara’s stewardship in these roles, Mann has seen a number of important, widely acclaimed facilities and service improvements that have greatly enhanced the library’s learning spaces with new tools, state-of-the-art technology, and dynamic furnishings to support the wide variety of research needs and styles represented among the students and researchers who learn and work at Cornell today.


Of course, new leadership at Mann Library has some big shoes to fill. As the speakers at Mary Ochs’ retirement reception on January 27 made clear, Mary leaves a strong and lasting legacy at Mann Library and wider Cornell. Her leadership has advanced some critical progress in widening the accessibility of world class collections for researchers at Cornell and the world beyond, especially in the developing world. And under Mary’s encouraging watch, Mann took on a pioneering role in exciting new areas for academic libraries, such as the development and application of methodologies for the systematic review of already published research literature to help realize stronger returns on emergent research initiatives. As Kathryn Boor, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, summarized, over the course of her tenure as director of Mann Library, Mary Ochs proved herself a fearless leader in the Cornell community. And it’s no secret: In a time of rapid, near-constant change for libraries in the 21st century, fearlessness is indeed an invaluable quality for effective library management.


As Interim Director, Sara Wright will bridge the time until a new director of Mann Library is formally appointed. A national search to fill the position will begin shortly. Library and University stakeholders, including faculty of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the College of Human Ecology will have an opportunity to meet and provide feedback about short-listed candidates. Any questions about the process may be directed to Search Committee members Danianne Mizzy (CUL Associate University Librarian / Search Committee Chair) and Ashley Shea, (Head of Instruction Services, Mann Library). It’s anticipated that an update on the results of the search process will be available in a few months time. And in the meantime, with Sara Wright at the helm, we can all also rest assured—Mann Library remains in excellent hands.