How to access Mercer library services online

Tarver Library

Mercer University Libraries are closed — except for 24/7 spaces in the Tarver and Swilley libraries — in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but you can still access an abundance of services online.  

The Mercer Libraries offer 24/7, cloud-based eResources along with robust collections of eBooks, eJournals, eDatabases and digitized materials. Librarians are working remotely and can provide virtual assistance via live chatZoom or email

“In many ways, the Mercer Libraries continue to operate uninterrupted,” said Dr. Jeffrey Waldrop, dean of the Libraries. “We have built a robust foundation of cloud-based and sustainable resources and services that assist student and faculty research and learning in the midst of technological and pedagogical change.

“This means that eBooks, eJournals, electronic research databases, electronic research guides, online how-to research videos, online reference assistance and other key services are cloud-based, and many are accessible 24/7.”

The best place to start accessing these resources is the Libraries website. Resources for online users specifically may be found on the COVID-19 Updates section of the website.  

If you have time to familiarize yourself with only one thing on the Libraries website, make it Discovery. Discovery is a one-stop search for articles, books and e-books, journals, videos and more.  

You can search Discovery without signing in, but logging in with your Mercer credentials allows you to view full search results, renew books, export citations and view course reserves.

Virtual librarian hours: 

  • 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 
  • 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday
  • 1-5 p.m. Saturday
  • 3-7 p.m. Sunday

The library also offers research guides in which you can browse for library resource recommendations by subject.  

During the libraries closure, there is no access to the physical book collection in Macon or Atlanta. In addition, the library is no longer able to process physical book requests through the Interlibrary Loan Department. Requests for journal articles will be processed, but there may be long delays. 

Students, faculty and staff who have items checked out may keep library materials until they are back on campus. Those who live locally may return the items using external book drops at the Swilley or Tarver libraries. Internal book drops are available at the Douglas County Center in Lithia Springs and the Henry County Library in McDonough.

Items also may be shipped to the Jack Tarver Library, Mercer University, 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA 31207. For help with shipping fees or other questions, contact Theresa Rhodes, assistant dean for Collection Services, at or (478) 301-2031.

Meanwhile, if you need a quiet place to study for finals, you may access the 24/7 spaces of the Tarver and Swilley libraries by using your Bear Card.  

In Tarver, the entire first floor is accessible 24/7. This space includes 24 individual rooms, mobile whiteboards, a printer and a computer.

The first floor also includes a self-service Micro Market offering snacks and cold drinks and a PHARMABOX automated retail system providing over-the-counter medicine and personal care products.

Swilley offers 4,400 square feet of 24/7 study space, allowing ample room for studying while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from another person for social distancing. 

Available resources include:

  • eBooks: 481,011 owned and thousands more through open access and electronic consortia
  • eJournal Titles: 171,958 
  • Research Databases: 217 
  • Library Research Guides (LibGuides): 77 
  • Digitized Resources from the Archives: 10,000+ 

“With the availability of the 24/7 Bear card-accessible study spaces, the Libraries continue to offer a full range of services and materials despite the temporary closure of some in-person services,” Waldrop said.

If you need help, do not hesitate to ask. Librarians are eager to assist.

In addition to the web-based communication methods, you can leave messages for Macon library services by calling Tarver Reference at (478) 301-2055, Tarver Circulation at (478) 301-2961 and Tarver Archives at (478) 301-2968. In Atlanta, you may leave a message for Swilley Reference at (678) 547-6282 and Swilley Circulation at (678) 547-6284. Someone will return your call.


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Jennifer Falk
Jennifer Falk is director of digital communications at Mercer. She edits and writes feature stories for The Den and examines web data and analytics to drive content decisions. She also creates and supervises the creation of content for primary University web pages and e-newsletters.