Desperate sadness washed over me as I closed off the collaborative and quiet study areas with Area Closed signs and caution tape. As a librarian, providing access to resources and services is the cornerstone upon which my work always rested. Now, the shelves of books sat with no one to look at them, chairs and tables sat unoccupied, and the front doors were shut, with a desk situated to greet the students who needed to use a computer, the only real physical service we were able to provide.
All I could think of was the day I could tear down the caution tape and reopen the study spaces and collections which I had taken for granted.
Today was that day.
As the college enters phase 4, the phase we have all been waiting for since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, the library resumes normal operations. Study rooms, the collaborative and quiet study areas, and bookshelves are reopened for student use. We welcome community members back to use computers or check out materials. In the interest of collective safety, seating is socially distanced, protective barriers around the computers remain, and the requisite hand sanitizer is placed at all service points.
We learned a lot during the pandemic, and we were grateful for the opportunity to serve you virtually and will continue to do so for those who prefer learning online. We answered your questions via chat, taught information literacy courses online, and even offered virtual events. Now we are poised to welcome you back in person as well.
All of us here at the library are eagerly looking forward to the hustle and bustle of fall semester, with students in every study room, at every table, working diligently at a computer or looking for help with research. We are so excited to welcome you back - as of today, only 72 days left!