COVID-19 Study safe in our libraries
Last updated 24/10/2020
Welcome to the guidance page on safety measures and rules in the Library. Here, we explain what we’ve done to make your Library a safer study environment and how you can help us to keep it open.
The guidance covers:
- Visiting the library
- Face coverings
- Social distancing measures
- Contact tracing and QR codes
- Study spaces
- Cleaning and sanitizing
- Book quarantine
- Changes to borrowing
- Change to items we provide
You should also follow general College guidance and the Code of Conduct for all staff and students working or studying on-site during the COVID-19 pandemic. Check here to find out when it is okay to visit a campus.
Study safe in our libraries - measures
Visiting the library
The Library is a campus ‘drop-in’ service. You do not need to pre-book.
You can use our study spaces if you already have a valid reason to be on-site, such as attending timetabled in-person teaching or a pre-booked appointment.
Check the visiting campuses safely page for more.
In line with Government guidelines, you are legally required to wear a face covering at all times in an indoor setting. This applies for our library spaces too.
Your face covering should cover your nose and mouth; only remove it when eating or drinking.
Exemptions can be made for you on medical, health or other grounds – just let staff know or email us at email@example.com.
For more information on face coverings, please see College guidance.
Social distancing measures
Stick to our guidelines to maintain a safe distance from others in the library:
- keep 2m apart from staff and other users
- follow the floor markings indicating 2m intervals
- enter and exit the library using the one-way system indicated by signage
- avoid congregating or waiting in areas such as the reception or staircases
We are keeping you safe by monitoring and controlling library occupancy levels.
You may need to wait a short while or come back later if we’re at full capacity.
If you need to quickly speak to staff or collect a requested book, you can jump the queue.
Check the traffic light screen before entering. It will tell you the current occupancy level of the library and whether or not you can enter.
Central Library is operating a one-way entrance and exit system across all floors:
- enter the building using the ground floor entrance
- to go up a floor, use the main staircase
- to do down a floor or exit, follow the exit signs which will lead you to the back staircase.
- only one person can use a lift at a time
Contact tracing and QR codes
Contact tracing is a vital part of the College’s COVID-19 safety measures.
You must fill in the online contact tracing form every time you use a study space.
When you arrive at your chosen desk, scan the displayed QR code or navigate to the URL:
- at Central Library, login using your College account and enter the duration you plan to stay in this location
- at campus libraries, fill in the short form which also asks for your desk number
- stay longer than you had planned
- move to use a different desk
- keep your library open
- reduce the number of users who will need to self-isolate if a COVID-19 case is later confirmed
Study spaces in the libraries are arranged so that you will be seated apart from other users.
Do not sit at desks which have been marked with a cross, even if you are with a friend.
You must complete our online contact tracing form when you arrive at your chosen desk.
All our group study areas are now for individual silent study. You can book a room via the Library Bookings system. These hold up to one person per session. Make sure you read the guidance on our Room Bookings page.
There are no longer any spaces for group study in the library. Check the breakout spaces page for a list of alternatives.
Cleaning and sanitising
We have enhanced our cleaning operations and the libraries will be cleaned overnight after the buildings are closed.
We are providing sanitisation stations with spray, paper towels and hand sanitiser for you to use.
Dispose of any used cleaning materials in the correct bins around the library. Don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.
Any books that are touched by someone or returned will be quarantined for 72 hours before reshelving. This means there will be a slightly longer wait to get hold of some items.
If you remove books from the shelves but do not borrow them, please place them on clearly marked quarantine trollies.
Changes to borrowing
To assist with College’s multimode delivery and social distancing on-site, we have made changes to our borrowing policies so you can keep books for longer:
- books will automatically renew for 3 weeks at a time
- if your book is recalled, the loan period will not shorten
- we have extended all automatic renewal periods from 12 months to 18 months
- you will have at least a week’s notice to return the book
- standard fines will apply if you return a recalled book after its due date
If there is a reason why you cannot return a book, please get in touch.
Changes to items we provide
We have reviewed and changed the items that are provided to you in the library:
- you can borrow laptops and iPads
- you can use our staplers, hole punchers and paper guillotines
- we no longer loan out headphones
Wipe down all items you return or have used, so that it is safe for the next person that needs them. Cleaning supplies are available in all library spaces.
The following items do not need to be returned to us:
- Whiteboard markers
- Charging cables
Staying safe in the library
Help us keep everyone safe
Be considerate and follow the library safety rules
Wear a face covering
A face covering must be worn in library spaces at all times
Keep a safe distance
Follow the one-way system and signage in the library
Wash your hands often
Before and after using a study space wipe down the surface with sanitizer
Be patient and be kind
We all have a responsibility to protect each other