I am almost through the first month of Fall Semester and am already looking forward to our winter break. For some reason, the start of this academic year has felt busier than usual. Perhaps this is partly due to being back on campus and having our library fully open for the first time since mid-March 2020. We have been providing services and access to our building during most of the pandemic, but it has been appointment based and our doors remain locked. On Tuesday, September 7, we unlocked those doors, stopped requiring appointments, and welcomed our community college back in with a few restrictions. Masks are required. Cleaning and sanitizing protocols remain in effect. When possible, the six feet of physical distance is maintained. Some materials are still quarantined upon return. People entering the building are required to either show a wristband indicating they’ve went through a screening elsewhere on campus or use our station if they haven’t. Plexiglass protects staff at our service desks. And staff are mostly working hybrid schedules still, with at least two days on campus.
Yet, things feel more “normal” than not. Our student needs for support and assistance have never changed no matter if we are helping them in a virtual or physical space. Our Fall Rally took place on campus this year with students and employees seeing what each table had to offer, and enjoying some hotdogs and other treats. The library is a busy space again with students coming in to use computers, check out books, or find a quiet place to study.
If anything, these past eighteen months have demonstrated how much many of our students value what the library has to offer. No matter what else changes in our world, I don’t think that will.