UA Libraries Makes Extensive Usage Updates

  • August 18th, 2020


To create a safe environment for students, staff and faculty on campus, UA Libraries has changed its rules to incorporate best practices for preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Arrows point out the direction that foot traffic in the libraries should follow
Arrows point out the direction that foot traffic in the libraries should follow

“We have been working hard all summer planning for our return to full operations, but we need everyone’s help in order to maintain health and safety for everyone who visits our libraries,” said Michael Pearce, director of strategic engagement for University Libraries.

Some noticeable changes include the addition of health screens at all service points to reduce contact with patrons, and hand sanitizer stations placed throughout the libraries.

ACT Cards, either physical or mobile, are required for entry to the libraries and there will be queuing points with 6 feet of distance at all entrances. Additionally, to manage the flow of patrons, there will be only one entrance to each library for the foreseeable future. For example, the Quad entrance to Gorgas will remain closed until further notice.

In keeping with the  UA System Health and Safety Task Force’s requirement that face coverings must be worn in all University buildings, University Libraries faculty and staff will be required to wear masks, as will all visitors entering the libraries.

Additional new library usage rules for all five libraries are as follows:

  • Library instruction will be delivered on a case-by-case basis, using a hybrid model that prioritizes virtual delivery of instruction. Librarians will create asynchronous content for instruction purposes, and synchronous content will be delivered via group video conferencing rather than in-person class visits inside library facilities.
  • Patrons who arrive in groups are expected to disperse when inside the libraries.
  • Hoole Special Collections has facility-specific guidelines.
  • No document production tools/items such as — staplers, paper clips, etc. — will be available until further notice.
  • Events will not be hosted in the libraries until further notice.
  • Paper-based materials will be quarantined for 24 hours before processing and re-shelving can begin.
  • Materials received in the mail will undergo quarantine for 24 hours before being processed for circulation.

The complete list of all the University Libraries new usage rules can be found on its website.

If anyone needs assistance with library materials online or off, the UA Libraries Ask-A-Librarian chat service is available.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.