Appointment-only hours increase at Cabell's Special Collections and Archives

February 12, 2024

Special Collections and Archives at James Branch Cabell Library has set new operating hours and practices designed to best meet visitors’ needs and provide more effective and convenient consultations. 

With people working remotely during the pandemic, the Special Collections and Archives team fielded inquiries by phone or email. “We recognized that many inquiries could be handled without an in-person visit,” said department Head Chrystal Carpenter. She continued, “We've witnessed a significant uptick in research inquiries through appointments. With increased engagement through virtual communication, it is possible for us to provide answers or provide access to materials online. After the university reopened, the number of walk-in patrons declined but requests for appointments or email questions were up.”

For the 2024 spring semester, Special Collections and Archives at  Cabell Library location is now open Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to noon by appointment and noon to 5 p.m. for walk-ins or appointments. Special Collections and Archives at the Health Sciences Library remains open by appointment only Monday-Friday. 

In addition to in-person meetings, researchers may contact the department by phone, email, text or chat.  “With this change in how researchers interact with us, we have adjusted by providing more robust reference service online, allowing us to meet the needs of most researchers not doing extensive / indepth research,” Carpenter said.

Appointments provide a better overall experience for both users and staff, according to Carpenter. “Scheduling a visit ahead of time  allows us to conduct the reference interview prior to a visit. We’re better prepared to help our patrons during their visit. We organize the materials they need in advance and offer streamlined service.

 “We will continue to track trends and data to re-adjust our hours when/if needed.  We are committed to providing a rich and accessible experience for all patrons.”

Special Collections and Archives hours 

Cabell Library

Closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Open by appointment Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. to noon, and open for walk-ins or appointments from noon to 5 p.m.  

Health Sciences Library

Closed Saturday and Sunday.  Open by appointment Monday - Friday.  

For appointments, questions or research consultations please contact Special Collections and Archives by email or phone. 


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