How library services will continue to run at Sheffield's two universities under lockdown restrictions
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Under updated guidance, universities can remain open but teaching should be delivered online – with only those on select courses as outlined by the Government returning to in-person teaching as per their course programme later this month.
Campus facilities such as libraries and study spaces can also operate as long as safety restrictions, such as social distancing, can be adhered to and risk assessments have been carried out.
Sheffield Hallam University has moved to reassure both students and staff that its Adsetts Library, on Arundel Gate, and Collegiate Library, on Collegiate Crescent, are open and safe for essential use.
It comes after concerns were raised from a staff member around how the university could open its libraries with new lockdown rules in place.
A spokesperson for Sheffield Hallam said: “Our libraries continue to remain open in line with Government guidance to universities to provide students with support and access to study space.
"Our libraries provide comprehensive and multidisciplinary online resources and services which are well used off campus, and students have been advised to only come onto campus where it is essential for them to do so.
“We continue to put in place comprehensive measures through a risk assessment process to ensure our libraries are Covid-secure for staff and students. These include operating at 20 per cent capacity to allow social distancing, requiring booking for all study space, and providing access to print resources only through our click and collect service.”
The University of Sheffield said its library services are open but are operating a limited service, with reduced capacity and safety precautions in place.
“Some students will have remained in Sheffield over the winter break or may have already arrived prior to the national lockdown being announced, and we recognise how important library resources and study spaces are to our students,” a spokesperson for the institution said.
"To help keep our students and staff safe, while our library buildings are open they are operating a limited service, with reduced capacity.
"As the safety and welfare of our students and staff is paramount, we have put a number of safety measures in place in our libraries, including social distancing, the requirement to wear a face mask, and a booking system for the use of individual library spaces.
“Aside from the services available in our library buildings, our students also have access to almost one million ebooks via our digital library and books that are not available online can be delivered to students free of charge, with the library team regularly adding to our digital collection.
"Any students in need of support or advice can contact our librarians via online live chat."