The Daily Tar Heel

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Thursday August 5th

Here's what you need to know about UNC Libraries' fall reentry plan

The entrance to Davis Library on Sunday, June 7, 2020.
Buy Photos The entrance to Davis Library on Sunday, June 7, 2020.

This fall, it’s going to be even harder to find a table in the library. 

Last week, University Libraries released its fall reentry plan, stating that only designated locations in Davis Library and the Health Sciences Library will be open to students when they return. All other library locations will remain closed. 

“While library buildings and services will look very different in the fall of 2020, and likely beyond, we are fully committed to the success of everyone who uses and depends upon the libraries at Carolina,” Elaine Westbrooks, University librarian and vice provost for University Libraries, wrote in a foreword to the reentry plan. 

Starting Aug. 3, Davis Library and the Health Sciences Library will reopen for limited use and enforce UNC’s community guidelines, according to the plan. New rules for patrons of the library include wearing masks in public and shared areas of the library, maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from other patrons and not relocating any furniture. 

The libraries will work to clean high-touch surfaces such as door handles and elevator buttons more frequently, and furniture will be moved to promote physical distancing. 

Davis Library will operate under the following conditions:

  • The library’s hours will be Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Only floors 1 and 2 will be available for public access
  • All stack levels will be closed, but books may be requested through the pickup service online 
  • All public computing stations, printers and scanners will be removed
  • A reservation service will be implemented for study tables

The Health Sciences Library will operate under the following conditions:

  • The library’s hours will be Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Students will have access to the lower level and floors 1 and 2
  • Stack levels will be closed, and books will be available through a contactless pickup service
  • Group study rooms will only be available to single users
  • All public computing stations, printers and scanners will be removed
  • A reservation service will be implemented for study tables
  • The Friends Café will remain open with revised protocols

All other libraries administered by the University Librarian will be closed to the public, though they will work to make much of their materials digital or available for pickup. 

On Monday, University Libraries began a contactless pickup service for library materials. Books and other resources can be requested online and picked up outside Davis Library or the Health Sciences Library. Starting Aug. 3, these requests will need to be picked up inside one of these two libraries. 

The plan stressed that, due to the changing nature of the virus, libraries may adjust their services at any time. 

“This plan reflects more than two months of effort by multiple library working groups, informed by more than 1,700 faculty and graduate student instructors who responded to a survey about how their classes will be using the library and library resources this term,” Judy Panitch, the director of library communications, said in an email statement.

Panitch said they will monitor library use closely as the semester begins and make adjustments where possible. 

"Fall 2020 will be challenging and students will have to adapt to changes all over campus," Panitch said. "Our first goal is to keep everyone safe while making sure that people can get books, information resources and research help in new ways during this time so that we can all make progress and look forward to a more normal experience soon.”

@kyle_ingram11

university@dailytarheel.com

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