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Library Works to Ensure Safety for All Attendees

Dunbar Library | Photo by Jessica Fugett | The Wright State Guardian


The Library staff have worked hard to ensure that they create a safe and clean environment for all, by providing many services online and planning new arrangements in the library.

Distancing and Procedures

The library has evaluated plans for the spacing of desks and study tables to ensure that they are properly distanced and have a maximum of two chairs per table.

“Staff will work with facilities to physically distance the tables according to CDC recommendations,” said Sue Polanka, university librarian.

Many of the desks and tables in the library were already properly distanced.

“When we renovated last year, we placed most of our third and fourth floor study tables 6 – 10 feet apart with only two chairs, so we are in pretty good shape with the location of study tables on those floors,” said Polanka.  “We will remove chairs from most tables to encourage individual study rather than group study.”

The library will also be requiring face masks as well as introducing other common procedures to limit the spread of the virus.

“We will have much more signage about distancing, plexiglass shields will be installed at our service points to keep our staff and patrons safe, and tables will have fewer chairs,” said Polanka.

Patrons should expect to see a decrease in hours to allow more time for cleaning.

Students will be urged to bring their own computers to ensure a safer environment.

“We will have limited public computer workstations available and are working on plans to sanitize these,” said Polanka.

Another step that the library has had to take to ensure the safety of all patrons is closing both the individual and group study rooms.

Safe Ways to Get Books

The library will continue to offer safe ways for students to obtain the books and resources that they need.

“We will continue offering curbside pick-up of books for those who do not wish to enter the building,” said Polanka.  “This service allows users to request books in the catalog and our staff pull the materials, check them out to the patron, and notify them.”

There will be two different days for pick-up.

“Right now we have established pick-up times (Tuesdays and Fridays), once we reopen, patrons can call us upon arrival and we will bring the book outside for them,” said Polanka.

After evaluating some research, the library staff have decided that they will be quarantining returned books for three days to ensure the safety of faculty, staff and students.

Virtual Services

The library has decided to temporarily close the information desk and encourage students to get the help they need remotely.

“Students may still get assistance through the Ask a Librarian service – phone, email, online chat, online appointments,” said Polanka.

Remote services are nothing new to Wright State’s library.  The “Ask a Librarian” service is over 20 years old.

The library is prepared to help anyone complete their research this fall through their online services, “Ask a Librarian” and “Ask an Archivist” as well as many online instruction material.

Students Thoughts

Many Wright State students still plan to use the library this fall.

Jeffrey Shehee, vice president of black student union, normally uses the library once or twice a  week.

“I will still plan on using the library a lot more this semester just to focus on myself, my classes and the work I need to get done,” said Shehee. “It will help me stay more disciplined and productive!”

Shehee will not be impacted directly by the decrease in table seating.

“I usually am by myself when I go to the library, so I’m not really phased about more than one chair being at the table or not,” said Shehee. “But I think less interaction may help and hurt some students at the library.”

Samantha Ervin, WWSU 106.9 FM president, normally uses the library everyday to get Starbucks and to study.

“If the library is open I would like to continue using it for study purposes,” said Ervin. “Especially for my classes which typically require resources provided from the library.”

Jeremiah Penick, residential community association (RCA) President, normally uses the library about four or five times a week and sometimes with a group.

“Having a place to go outside of the dorms is hugely important to me as it provides a quiet place to study for classes,” said Penick. “I do plan on using the library these upcoming semesters but depending on regulations set forth by the university I may not be able to study at full capacity.”

The library has and will continue to be a place where students can study safely and take advantage of many provided resources.