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“I’m writing a sermon…” prefaces most of the questions that come to the Pitts Theology Library Reference Desk from alumni. Candler School of Theology alumni regularly return to the library to inquire about the resources and databases that remain available to them through Emory University Libraries in their new ministerial settings. In addition to these one-off reference interactions, Pitts librarians also engage with alumni through a variety of means, including outreach and events, instruction, and graduation preparation and celebrations. During the academic years of 2019–20 and 2020–21, however, alumni needs and requests increased and transformed as public libraries closed in-person services and university campuses were limited to currently enrolled students and faculty. This paper will explore the evolving needs of seminary alumni brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, during which Pitts witnessed and managed an uptick in requests for access to collections, library spaces, and online databases.
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