The University of Georgia Libraries will open to the public Aug. 10 with measures in place to promote the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The reopening comes as UGA prepares to welcome students for fall classes beginning Aug. 20.
Most library locations, including the Main Library and Science Library will reopen to the public with limited hours during the week of Aug. 10, and expand service hours when classes resume. Beginning Aug. 20, the Main Library, Science Library and Miller Learning Center will be open until midnight most weekdays with earlier closure times on the weekends. The closing times allow cleaning crews to meet campus guidelines for disinfecting high-touch surfaces in the Libraries’ study spaces.
The Special Collections Building will resume regular hours on Aug. 10. Once classes resume, the Carnegie Library on the Health Sciences Campus will close at 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and will remain closed on Fridays and Saturdays, and the Art Library at Lamar Dodd will maintain hours of 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. The Music Library will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays, although it will close for lunch each day from noon to 1 p.m. The Curriculum Materials Library in Aderhold Hall will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The Libraries faculty and staff are preparing to reopen to our facilities in a manner that prioritizes health and safety,” said Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost. “We ask that our visitors follow social distancing guidelines and, per USG guidelines, wear a face covering. Take advantage of the hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes that we are providing, and please wash hands regularly and well before and after using any shared technology such as computers or printer kiosks.”
To further protect the health of visitors and staff, plexiglass has been added at service desks, and furniture and equipment have been arranged to promote social distancing in study spaces. Between check outs, books and other materials will be quarantined for three to four days, based on research sponsored by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Throughout the academic year, students and faculty will continue to have access to e-books, e-journals, databases, streaming video, and other digital materials via the Libraries website at libs.uga.edu. With the restoration of access to UGA’s print collection on August 10, UGA will no longer be eligible for the HathiTrust Emergency Temporary Access Service that has provided digital copies of print holdings during the Libraries’ closure.
In addition to the online chat with a librarian function on the website, librarians, archivists and staff will continue to offer remote consultations, workshops, and digital exhibitions.
Beginning Aug. 10, the Libraries will end porch pickup service at the Main Library, instead allowing patrons to pick up books on hold in the library location of their choice.
Books checked out prior to the pandemic are due Aug. 10 and may be returned at a book drop location in the Main Library’s parking lot.
“Through working remotely, enabling greater access to digital resources and offering porch pickup options, the dedicated staff of the libraries have provided an exemplary degree of support to faculty and students over the past several months,” said S. Jack Hu, the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “The Aug. 10 reopening of campus library facilities marks an important milestone in the university’s gradual, phased reopening that will ensure an even higher degree of academic support to the campus community.”