This article was written by Dan Wilson, and edited by Kimberley R. Barker.
In conjunction with the reopening of UVA Health clinics, the Health Sciences Library is scheduled to reopen with limited services and physical access on Monday, May 18th, 2020. The safety of Library staff and patrons is the primary focus and, with that goal in mind, a Pandemic Planning Task Force was established to guide decision-making not only for the reopening, but for the duration of the pandemic.
Composed of Library leadership, managers, and volunteers from amongst the Library staff, the Task Force is relying on both its understanding of patron needs and guidance from leadership at the Commonwealth, University, and Health System levels in its decision-making processes.
At each of those levels, a slow approach to reopening is advised; as a result, the Library’s reopening will be characterized by the conditions described in Tier Three of its pandemic planning document, including reduced hours, and limited access to space and in-person services. Consequently, for the foreseeable future the Health Sciences Library will limit its onsite service hours to 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. In addition, access to physical space will be restricted to the lobby and the 24-hours space, and all shared equipment, other than six Health Information and Technology computers, will not be available. As conditions improve, the Pandemic Planning Task Force will approve the Library’s movement to subsequent, less restrictive tiers, which will trigger the return of essential shared equipment.
During Tier Three (which begins on the 18th with this limited re-opening), several changes will be in place; for instance, visitors wishing to enter the Library will be required to do so through the Health System ID badge-locked door that leads into the 24-hours space. Setting this requirement on ingress will assist the Library in remaining in compliance with the order on reduced levels of occupancy. Another change is that, upon entering the Library, patrons will be greeted with signs listing required safety protocol, including masking and social distancing. Finally, in order to reduce contact with other patrons, unidirectional flow measures for traffic patterns will be implemented.
When the Library reopens on the 18th, only scheduled Service Desk team members will be on site. For their safety, we have implemented the following safety measures:
· the installation of Plexiglass barriers at the Service Desk aims to reduce the chance of infection during interactions between visitors and staff (who will also be masked).
· the rearrangement of furniture, the removal of shared equipment, and the application of tape to the floor to assist patrons in remaining at least six feet apart when standing in line at the Service Desk are all aimed at supporting social distancing standards.
· the implementation of a request-and-retrieval system for physical books and journals. With this system, patrons may request a specific title which will be pulled by Service Desk team members and then made available to the requester for pick-up. Returned materials will be quarantined based on Centers for Disease Control and Safety guidance.
· The assignment of office space to all team members ensures that each person has a place to safely remove their mask.
Most of the Library's services will continue to be provided virtually. Librarians and other professional team members have been working productively from home and continue to be available via Zoom or email. If you have a question or request, please use our Ask Us form.
We strongly encourage feedback from patrons as we work through this process. Please contact Dan Wilson, Associate Director for Collections & Library Services at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any feedback, questions, or concerns.
Claude Moore Health Sciences Library
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Charlottesville, VA 22908 (Directions)
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