We have worked to reorganise our library spaces and services to ensure that they are COVID-19 safe for all of our staff and students. This work has followed Scottish Government guidance and has involved Library, Estates and Health and Safety professionals at the University. In order to allow safe access to resources and study spaces we have had to make a number of changes and the arrangements are outlined here. Please take the time to review these changes before you visit. We will continue to review our approach and welcome your feedback.
- From Monday 14th September The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be open Monday to Friday, 9.00am – 5.00pm
- From Monday 21st September, it is anticipated the hours will be extended and will include weekends – further details will be confirmed shortly.
- Plans are progressing for the re-opening of the Medical Library at Foresterhill and the Taylor Law Library – dates for re-opening will be confirmed soon.
We are increasing the amount of cleaning being done throughout the building and introducing regular touch point cleaning. We ask our users to help by washing hands regularly, using sanitiser on entrance and elsewhere (it is provided on all floors) and using wipes to clean keyboards and printer/scanners. We also ask that no food or drink (except bottled water) be brought into the building.
It is also a legal requirement that face coverings are worn all the time you are in the building, unless using the café (see details below).
We need to maintain 2 metre physical distancing in the building and this has meant a substantial reduction to the number of desks we have available at this stage. We are providing 170 desks on the upper floors (of which, 22 have PCs). When we reach this number of users through the security gates, we will be unable to allow anyone else through until people leave. There will be a queuing system in place on the ground floor to allow a small number of people to wait. However, we do not expect to reach capacity in our first week of opening. We cannot provide for group working in the building. The building will be open to University of Aberdeen students and staff. External Library members cannot access the building but can use the Click & Collect service by arrangement. Access to visitors including schools and the general public is not yet possible.
The Special Collections Reading Room
Our Scan & Send service will continue to operate, enabling digital rather than physical access by researchers. Images will be provided for research, rather than publication purposes, and large-scale digitisation will not be possible as we focus on supporting numerous requests. We will try to prioritise photography and scanning according to the urgency of need.
From 14 September, in-person bookable access to the Reading Room is possible for University of Aberdeen staff and students. Research visits will be limited to enable social distancing and enquiries should be made at least one week in advance.
For more details of our service, please see here.
Access to books and resources
Books and other printed materials are available to browse and borrow but need to be placed on the quarantine trolleys provided after use, unless being borrowed.
In order to protect staff and students we aim to keep interactions to a minimum. Library staff should only be approached if absolutely necessary and when they are behind screens at service desks.
We plan to reopen the Hardback Café with appropriate safety arrangements in place and will provide news about this in due course.
Whilst we are looking forward to welcoming students and staff back to The Sir Duncan Rice Library, please work with us by taking care to understand the requirements, being patient about these new procedures and following all the guidelines. This will help us avoid the need to impose further restrictions and make it easier for the Library staff working in the building.
A summary of our new building use requirements
These signs will be displayed on digital screens in the Library, to remind you when you enter the building.
Please observe the following rules when you visit:
- Remember to bring your staff/student card as access to The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be provided via swipe card through the card-controlled door to the left of the main sliding entrance door. Card scanning at the security gates is compulsory to meet Government Test and Protect obligations.
- Use hand sanitiser on entry and exit and wash hands or use sanitiser during your stay
- Wear your face covering at all times or display your lanyard or show your exemption card if you are unable to wear a face covering
- Maintain two metre social distancing and follow the designated one-way routes
- Clean surfaces, PCs and Multi Function Devices (MFDs) after use with the wipes provided
- Place any handled books which you do not subsequently borrow on the trolleys provided
- Only approach Library staff who are seated behind support desk screens
- Note that no food or drink other than water is permitted in the building.
Once in the building:
- Lifts to be used by one person at a time, so please leave more time to move around the building
- Only study spaces marked with a tick can be used, allowing 2m distancing
- The water stations on each floor will not be available – please bring your own water (no other food or drink must be consumed in the building)
- Due to the current restrictions and physical distancing, assisted evacuation from upper floors is not possible. However, study spaces will be provided on the ground floor for users who cannot safely access other floors.
Please speak to a member of staff at the Welcome Desk if you have any concerns or require assistance. Our updates page is at bit.ly/COVID-19LibraryUpdates