Ball State University Libraries to reopen in phases

<p>Ball State University Libraries will be reopening for the fall 2020 semester in phases over the summer. The libraries released guidelines as to how they will be operation before and during the fall semester. <strong>Brooke Kemp, DN File</strong></p>

Ball State University Libraries will be reopening for the fall 2020 semester in phases over the summer. The libraries released guidelines as to how they will be operation before and during the fall semester. Brooke Kemp, DN File

Ball State University Libraries released its COVID-19 operations plan to reopen in phases culminating in full, on-site support for returning students and faculty at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester.

The plan states University Libraries is prepared to support HyFlex courses and online learning — a hybrid learning course design model that gives students the option of attending sessions in the classroom, participating online, or doing both.

The libraries will continue to serve campus and provide information access if a COVID-19 resurgence were to force campus to unexpectedly pivot to online-only instruction before Thanksgiving break during the fall semester, the plan states.

Phase 1: July 6-31

University Libraries will be open to Ball State researchers by appointment only, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. This is contingent upon the availability of plexiglass barriers and sufficient personal protective equipment for staff. The libraries will provide essential access to physical collections and other user services.

Whenever possible, the libraries will encourage use of curbside or virtual services, rather than in-person attendance, the plan states.

These services include trunk delivery of circulating physical materials and equipment, electronic interlibrary loan and document delivery, electronic reading lists, virtual reference, online instruction and consultation services, and remote desktop access to specialized, custodial software.

Researchers may schedule appointments by contacting the libraries' main circulation during weekday business hours. These researchers must present their valid Ball State ID, practice physical distancing, wear a face mask and follow no-contact checkout protocols.

Phase 2: Aug. 1-15

University Libraries will open to the general public and community users Aug. 2 maintaining the following hours:

Bracken Library:

  • Monday-Thursday: 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Friday: 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

Branch Libraries:

  • Monday-Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


  • Archives and Special Collections: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • GIS Research and Map Collection: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Drawings + Documents Archive: Monday-Friday, by appointment.

The libraries will continue maintain no-contact protocols for circulation transactions and virtual delivery of reference and consultation services, the plan states.

Some physical distancing measures include small group study rooms being designated for individual use only, large study rooms and instructional spaces maintaining physical distancing, service areas with small or limited spaces being open by appointment only or with limited concurrent use, physical distancing furniture reconfigurations and reduced public computer access.

Phase 3: Fall 2020 semester

Beginning Aug. 16, the plan states University Libraries will resume regular semester operating hours with all measures described above in place.

Throughout the semester, the libraries will continue to provide curbside and virtual services to faculty and students unable to enter the libraries due to health vulnerabilities.

Hours of on-site operation after the Thanksgiving holiday will be assessed and may be reduced, since students will not return to campus.

The plan states the libraries anticipates the return of a significant number of staff beginning July 6 with additional staff, graduate and student assistants scheduled to report to campus beginning Aug. 3.

The libraries listed additional guidelines for library Staff, graduate assistants, and student assistants returning back to campus including no-contact protocols, limited face-to-face interactions, routine cleaning and disinfections, physical distancing and more.


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