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Going Green: Library Services Update, Aug. 2021

by Laura Landon on 2021-07-30T14:49:10-03:00 | Comments

With the province's announcement that it is lifting all COVID restrictions on July 30, the R.P. Bell Library is also rolling out our "path to green." Beginning in August, we will no longer require contact-tracing information or registration to enter the building. All floors are open for visiting and browsing and things will be -- for the most part -- "back to normal," with some continued precautions. COVID also brought us some good things, and we'll be keeping some COVID-inspired innovations such as the ability to book rooms or order books for pick-up.

Here is an overview of Library services and facilities in August:

  • Library is open to all, with no registration or check-in required.
  • Furniture is restored to its regular spots.
  • Two-metre social distancing requirements are gone, but we encourage social distancing throughout the Library.
  • Masks are not required, but we encourage people to continue to wear one when talking or moving around the building.
  • Research help from librarians remains available, and the default will be online meetings. We can also accommodate in-person meetings if requested. Masks will be required for in-person meetings.
  • Directional signage on floors and stairwells is gone.
  • Plexiglas remains at Access Services as a precaution.
  • Hand sanitizing stations remain available throughout the building and we encourage their use.
  • Display of new books is back in the front area of the building.
  • Print course reserves are available again. (The default for course reserves is always electronic. Many texts and chapters, however, are not available in an electronic format, and copyright rules restrict us from digitizing them. We rely on print in these cases.)

COVID innovations remain

Some pandemic-inspired innovations are worth keeping in a post-COVID world:

  • Library-to-Go: Our book request and pick-up service will remain in the front area of the library, beside the new book display. Simply request your books or other physical items via Novanet or Library to Go. We will get the items, check them out to you, and leave them in this designated pick-up area. Prefer browsing to find your own books? No problem. The stacks are open.
  • Book a Seat: Some students said they liked the option of being able to book seats and rooms. All seats on the Ground (red) Floor, all group study rooms, and individual study-carrel rooms will remain bookable. We are also working on having some individual spaces on the 2nd and 3rd floors bookable for the Fall and Winter terms. These spaces can be booked in advance or on-the-spot when you arrive in the Library. See Book a Seat for details.
  • Virtual meetings with librarians: People told us they also liked the ability to get research help through an online meeting with a librarian on Microsoft Teams. We'll continue to provide this meeting option when you contact a librarian by e-mail or chat.

As we enter the province's "green" phase, we're cautious and realize we may need to adjust quickly if circumstances change. We are confident we can adapt to various phases of COVID precautions as needed, and we thank our patrons for adapting with us so patiently over the past 16 months. For a list of overall Library services, see our COVID pages. For University-wide announcements, see Campus Updates.


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