The IUPUI community has been singularly interested in the safe continuation of campus life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the University Library, staff have worked to create a productive environment which allows students to take advantage of our spaces and technology while also balancing public health and safety. Unfortunately, the pursuit of that balance has led library staff to make the difficult decision to cancel all reservations and close all library study rooms until in-person classes resume in summer 2021.
This decision comes as few individuals maintain recommended room occupancy, social distance, and wear masks in library study rooms. This, coupled with rising rates of COVID-19 in Indiana and cold weather moving more people indoors, is creating an unsafe environment for IUPUI students and library staff.
Study rooms are used by hundreds of students each day. When a large group of students occupies the rooms without masks, it increases the risk of COVID-19 exposure of any person who enters the room thereafter. Additionally, the ventilation in these rooms can be poor. This is not a level of risk with which the library is comfortable exposing its staff or IUPUI students.
We know many students use library study rooms for classes and other important engagements, like job interviews. This is not a decision we take lightly. Students who need a semi-private space to study may still reserve one of our study alcoves on the 4th floor, a study carrel on the 3rd floor, use one of the quiet study lounges on the 3rd floor, or the 2120 Learning Lab on the 2nd floor.