“Locking the stairwells would violate fire codes and present a serious safety concern,” Panitch said.
However, it might also allow students who are unaware of the situation to enter the floors under construction. Lauren Glaze, a junior majoring in environmental science, is one of those students.
“I just walked through, and I don’t think there’s any safety concern,” Glaze said. “I just hope they can share more information about the progress.”
Davis Library will remain open and books will be available throughout the project. Each floor will close for a period of two to three months so the work can be completed safely. According to Panitch, floors five and six are scheduled to be closed after the seventh and eighth floors reopen.
“It will definitely make things a bit more crowded on other floors and in other libraries. People have been very understanding so far, despite the inconvenience,” Panitch said.
The construction program has brought some concerns about the availability of study space, especially during exam weeks.
“I mean, that will be really rough for everybody trying to find seats since it’s already so hard,” first-year Eve Elliot said. “But I guess as long as they know in advance, they can maybe plan to get their study rooms earlier or try to find some other spots on campus.”
Panitch also said Davis Library will try to keep the disruption at minimum level.
“We will work with the contractors, as we did in the fall semester, to make sure that no noisy or disruptive work takes place during reading period and finals,” Panitch said.
Despite the fact that floors seven and eight are closed, people are still able to access books on those shelves. Staff will retrieve books from closed areas upon request, usually within 24 hours. UNC students, faculty and staff can use the library’s Carolina BLU delivery service to request books from Davis Library or any campus library.
“We try to have books available within two to three days, but it can often be in less time than that,” Panitch said. “If anyone is having trouble using the form, come to the front desk and we’ll help.”