Libraries during the pandemic

<p>University Libraries will reopen in phases, phase two lasting until August 15. The general public is able to use the library during phases two and three and regular hours will be in place as of August 16. <strong>Brooke Kemp, DN</strong></p>

University Libraries will reopen in phases, phase two lasting until August 15. The general public is able to use the library during phases two and three and regular hours will be in place as of August 16. Brooke Kemp, DN

Ball State University Libraries is reopening in phases culminating in full, on-site support for returning students and faculty at the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, according to the Ball State website.

The website states that 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: until July 31

Following the installation of plexiglass barriers and availability of sufficient personal protective equipment for staff, University Libraries opened in July to Ball State researchers, according to the website. The libraries were providing essential access to physical collections and other user services.

During this time, the libraries encouraged use of curbside or virtual services, rather than in-person attendance.

These services included 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 were able to schedule appointments by contacting the libraries' main circulation during weekday business hours. Researchers had to 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 to 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 website states that 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.


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