What’s the tea with Homer B: Fall reopening plans for UConn’s library

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As UConn is set to reopen campus for the fall semester, the UConn library has developed a plan to enforce COVID-19 guidelines among those planning to use its facilities and services.

The Homer Babbidge Library will be reopening this semester with reduced hours and new COVID-19 protocols. File photo/The Daily Campus

According to Jean Nelson, head of communications and engagement for the UConn Library, Homer Babbidge Library and other UConn regional libraries will operate beginning on August 31 with reduced hours, which can be found on their website.

Nelson mentioned that most major changes will involve the spaces in the libraries, with general seating areas marked where students can sit. The libraries will also be operating in reduced capacity, with only three of the seven floors at Homer Babbidge Library open for in-person use. Due to reduced capacity, students and staff will need to reserve seating similar to students reserving group study in the past, according to Nelson. 

According to UConn library’s COVID-19 reopening plans webpage, technology like headphones, calculators or laptops will not be lent out, but computers and printers will be available to use on the first floor.

Nelson emphasized that, although students won’t be allowed to check out books directly off the shelves, there will be many online resources available, including HathiTrust, an online digital library. Fortunately, Nelson added that if the online version of a book is not available, then staff will organize a way for students to pick materials up. Students will also have the option of borrowing from other libraries.

It is noted on their COVID-19 reopening plans webpage that drinking and eating are prohibited in order to maintain safety. The Q and Writing Centers will still be available online and Bookworms Cafe will operate on a limited schedule. Students can also refer to the “Ask a Librarian” service for any questions they might have — which will have extended hours this upcoming semester. 

“Library staff have been working to find safe and effective ways to reopen our facilities to faculty, students, and staff on August 31,” Anne Langley, the dean of UConn Library, said in an email. “Our plan for the fall semester follows the guiding principle to support students and faculty while protecting the health of our community and our staff.”

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