McGoogan News

Library Reopening and Safety

As of August 18, 2020 at 8:00 a.m., the library is open and only accessible to UNMC students, faculty, and staff and Nebraska Medicine staff. The library is open 24/7 and is staffed Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Building Access and Safety

A UNMC or Nebraska Medicine ID badge is required for building and library access.

  • If an ID badge does not work, contact the UNMC Photo ID office at 402-559-8414,, or visit the Student Life Center, Room 1048 during regular business hours.
  • Library users should make their ID visible.
  • To maintain a safe environment, do not let anyone tailgate into an elevator or badge access area.
  • Follow any evacuation procedures during a weather, fire, or other emergency.
  • Contact Public Safety with any concerns at 402-559-5111.

COVID-19 Measures

COVID-19 Safety

All library users and staff will follow campus guidelines on masking, social distancing, and cleaning.

  • Masks will be required for entering the library. Non-compliance will result in non-entrance to the library.
  • Masks must be worn in all open areas. No food or drink is allowed in open areas.
  • Masks may be removed in individual study rooms and faculty hoteling offices; doors must remain closed. Food and drink are allowed in study rooms and faculty hoteling offices.
  • Social distancing is expected throughout the library. Floor markings will indicate social distancing at the library’s AskUs desk. Floor markings will also provide suggested paths through the library’s spaces, entrances, and exits. To promote social distancing practices, some furniture has been removed from some areas.
  • Sanitation and cleaning stations and disinfectant will be placed throughout the library. Clean individual and group spaces, including keyboards, before and after use. Proper hygiene, including frequent handwashing, is expected.

Circulation Services

Books and anatomical models may be requested for checkout via the library catalog or by emailing

  • Library staff will follow procedures to reduce the number of touchpoints for all materials that are based on industry guidelines for isolation of library materials between use. Users may find a short delay in availability of items.
  • Appointments are required for anatomical model circulation.
  • Books should be returned to the book drops located at the Wittson Hall Level 3 elevators or inside of the library on Level 6 of the library.

Rooms and Spaces

Occupancy in all library spaces is currently reduced. Study rooms and conference rooms may be reserved via EMS, the centralized campus reservation system. The library spaces policy includes more information about these spaces.

Renovation in Progress

We look forward to welcoming you to the newly renovated library spaces. Through early 2021, there will be minor touch-ups and occasional construction noise. While the library is generally quiet, you may hear some rumbling during your visit. Video tours and images of the new spaces are coming soon. Welcome back!

New name for library, but ‘McGoogan’ remains

by John Keenan, UNMC Public Relations

When the McGoogan Library of Medicine changes its name this summer, it won’t be due to any lack of respect for namesake Leon McGoogan, M.D.

In fact, the new name — the Leon S. McGoogan Health Sciences Library, which was approved by the Board of Regents on June 26 — is intended to demonstrate the expanded scope of the institution Dr. McGoogan played such a key role in shaping during his career at UNMC.

“A lot of people have been confused, as UNMC has grown in its programs,” said Emily McElroy, dean of the library. “When they see ‘library of medicine,’ they think we’re only a resource for the College of Medicine. The new name reflects that we serve all the students in the health professions represented on the UNMC campus.”

Nearly every academic health sciences library in the country that has the breadth of programming UNMC offers have similar names, she said.

“We felt, with the renovations under way, that this was the appropriate time to move forward with a change.”

But changing the McGoogan name was never considered, McElroy said.

“Dr. McGoogan not only played a critical role in the original library construction, was instrumental in fundraising for the library and donated extensively to our rare book collection, but his initial fundraising still supports so many library functions. I don’t know what we would do without the foundation that he built.”

Dr. McGoogan (1900-93) was the former chairman of the UNMC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. His affiliation with the library began when he worked there as a medical student in 1922. When the NU Board of Regents voted to name the library after him in 1978, it was in recognition of his decades of commitment to the institution, McElroy said.

The library is hoping for a late July opening for the sixth and seventh floors, and McElroy is excited for the university community to see the renovated space. (The eighth floor, which is mostly archives and offices, won’t be completed until the end of the year.)

“Having windows looking out on 42nd Street on the sixth and seventh floor is amazing,” she said. “It’s so bright. There’s also an overlook above the Wigton Heritage Center – it’s a very welcoming space.”

When it does open, the library will resume its normal operating hours, but because of COVID-19 concerns, it will not be open to the general public, only to university, hospital and affiliate faculty, staff and students. People will be asked to wear masks in the public areas and social distancing rules will be observed.

“We are very excited for our new home,” McElroy said. “The university community will find it a welcoming and comfortable space that is a terrific complement to our dedicated, knowledgeable staff and our extensive collection of resources. Dr. McGoogan would be proud of it, as well.”

This article was first published in UNMC Today.

Available study spaces during library renovation

While the study rooms in the library will not be accessible during renovation, there are a number of other study areas available to students throughout campus. Badge access may be required in certain locations.

Other campus locations:

  • CNS third floor atrium
  • CON second floor commons
  • CON fifth floor lobby
  • COP first and second floor commons
  • COP second floor group study rooms
  • COPH second and third floor commons
  • DRC I and II (with badge access) first floor commons and dining areas
  • Sorrell Center second and third floor commons
  • Sorrell Center third floor computing cluster

There are also study spaces available at UNO Criss Library and the KANEKO-UNO Library. Students can contact UNO Parking Services to receive a reciprocal parking permit. You can find information on parking permits here.

Library Closing Event May 3

Come say farewell to the old McGoogan Library spaces on May 3, 12 noon – 1 pm on the 6th floor of Wittson Hall. Share your sentiments with us during a wall-signing, see the vision for the future and enjoy some cake! Cake will be served at 12 noon, first come, first served.

Can’t make it to this event? Our memory wall will be available April 22 – May 5. Add your favorite memory or just your name to our wall. Before renovation begins, we will be photographing the wall to preserve these memories in our archives.

Library renovation: important dates and FAQ

The McGoogan Library, located on floors 6-8 of Wittson Hall, will close for renovation on May 5, 2019 at 9:00 pm. The library will remain closed until renovation is complete, with anticipated reopening in 2020.

In preparation for the renovation, here are some important dates to remember:

  • Last date to check out books: Friday, March 15
  • Last date to return books: Friday, April 26
  • Fines will be waived for all overdue items returned by Friday, April 26
  • Last day to request a 3D print: April 26
  • Last day to use the makerspace: May 3

Library services and electronic resources will still be available during renovation. Please visit our renovation FAQ page for more information.

To remain current with updates on library services and events, please subscribe to our McGoogan News blog  or our UNMC | Sync group.

For construction updates, please subscribe to the Central Campus Construction blog.