Digitization Service Connects Remote Researchers to Circulating Collections

When the pandemic forced the UCLA Library to close its buildings across campus, researchers lost access to millions of not-yet-digitized bound volumes and journals held in the Library’s circulating collections. That changed on July 6 with the launch of the Library’s Pilot Emergency Temporary Digitization on Request (PETDOR) service. 

PETDOR serves the time-sensitive research needs of graduate students and early-career faculty and researchers by digitizing book chapters and journal articles and delivering them to researchers via email. As capacity grows, other user groups may be added. 

“I was so relieved to hear that there was going to be a way that I can access materials in order to prepare for my qualifying exams,” said Letty Trevino, a 5th year Ph.D. student in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese and vice-president academic affairs, Graduate Student Association. “Those of us that do most of our research in books were scrambling to find funding to purchase the tomes that are necessary for research. Many of the books we need are out of print and are very costly to acquire, many more resources are only available through libraries.”

More than 150 students and faculty have created accounts for the service, triggering the fulfillment of digitization requests from across library locations, including materials from Powell and Charles E. Young Research libraries, East Asian and the Arts libraries, and the Southern Regional Library Facility, located on the UCLA campus. 

“The concern for many students is whether or not this pandemic will postpone their graduation, and for those students with limited time to finish their degree, their submission deadlines produce much anxiety,” said Trevino. “Tied to this issue of graduating on time is the financial burden of finishing your degree. Having PETDOR available to students ensures that they can maintain their time to degree.” 

As the campus ramps-up research activities, the Library will continue to evolve its services to advance UCLA’s research mission, guided by our priority of mitigating risk for staff and the entire research community.