SRU’s Bailey Library announces new fall hours, safety protocols
Slippery Rock University’s Bailey Library will feature new hours and safety protocols when the fall 2020 semester begins Aug. 17.
Aug. 10, 2020
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Often thought of as a place of seclusion for studying, a college library doubles as a campus hub that can experience high volumes of traffic. That's why Slippery Rock University is taking special safety measures at Bailey Library this fall to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Students can expect slight adjustments to the hours and physical environment when the library opens for the fall 2020 semester classes Aug. 17.
"We recognize that the library is essential to the success of students and so we're doing everything we can to make all of our library services and resources available to students," said Brad Wilson, associate provost of academic and integrated learning. "At the same time, we want to make sure that it's a safe environment for students as well as our staff. While there will be some changes, we'll still be open and committed to our students' academic success."
Online resources, such as the library's catalog and Discovery Search, remain available to faculty, staff and students 24/7, but the facility's hours of operations will be adjusted to 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mondays-Thursdays; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Fridays; and noon to 8 p.m., Sundays. While the library will be cleaned throughout the week, it will be closed Saturdays for extensive and deep sanitization.
"We'll open for about two-thirds of the hours that we'd normally be in comparison to previous semesters, because we can't stay open late and still offer the safest, cleanest environment we need to," said Jennifer Bartek, manager of library operations.
Consumption of food and beverages in Bailey Library will be prohibited, except in a designated area with vending machines. T&B Naturally, the café inside Bailey Library, will be closed.
Additionally, access to the third floor, the designated "quiet space" where most of the library's physical materials and stacks are located, will be by appointment only. Instead of searching for a book on the third floor, people can request materials in two ways: completing a forthcoming online form on the library's webpage prior to arrival so that the materials can be picked up at the circulation desk, or by requesting materials at the circulation desk upon arrival for a library worker to retrieve.
"With fewer residential students on campus and the increase of online classes, there will inherently be less activity in the library and it will be a quieter place. With it being such a large building, there won't be capacity issues (from restricting access to the third floor)."
Another resource in Bailey Library will be individual learning spaces that can be reserved for up to two hours at a time. People can reserve space using a scheduling platform that can be accessed three ways: a link that will be on the library's webpage, using iPad kiosks within the library or using a mobile device and scanning a QR code found on signs and postcards in the library. In addition to existing individual learning spaces, group learning areas will be converted to accommodate for more than 12 individual spaces that students can request.
"Each of those spaces will have a desktop computer with a webcam so students will be able to use them to attend online classes (if they are unable to attend from home or from their residence halls)," Bartek said.
In addition to floor markings and directional signs to promote physical distancing, there will be eight "sanitation stations" on the first and second floors of the library. These stations will include paper towels, gloves and disinfectant spray in case students want to wipe down areas before they occupy a space.
"Jennifer has done an incredible planning for the library's reopening," Wilson said. "The level of detail goes well beyond what people will see. We're taking this very seriously because the library is an important academic asset for a great many people."
Information about searching the library catalog and scheduling rooms or meetings with librarians is available on the Bailey Library webpage. For additional questions, call 724.738.2058 or email email@example.com.