Falvey Memorial Library: Phasing Into the Reopening

Falvey Library is gradually working on a plan to reopen.

The Falvey Memorial Library has undergone a massive virtual renovation with some in-person help mixed in. My previous article received some attention from the Falvey Library Communication and Marketing Program Director, Shawn Proctor. He emailed me to expand on Falvey’s outreach to the students and how the Library is fulfilling its mission of reaching all the students’ needs while keeping the University community safe. 

Through an addition on the first floor and careful planning for reopening, staff are listening to students’ needs and responding in the avenue they deem fit to conform to The CARITAS Commitment.

The library has adapted its original plan to meet the needs of students. The staff has been handling the scanning of materials, including books and class resources. The library decided to put the self-scanner back out for scanning materials.

“We received requests for the self-scanner and wanted to make it available to students who needed to digitize materials for class assignments,” University Librarian Millicent Gaskell said. “Falvey staff are fulfilling students’ and faculty scanning requests but we also recognize many students would like to scan at their convenience. This self-service option allows for more ease of access to scanning in a semester when digital resources are at a premium.”

This is a new addition to what has been a completely revamped first floor. If it is your first time inside Falvey since the pandemic rolled in, you will be shocked. The whole first floor completely changed, as all the tables and chairs for group work and study are gone, and the speaker’s corner is the only area where work can be accomplished individually.

In addition, the service desk is all virtual, as students can receive help through the virtual window as access service employees are there for “face to face” assistance. 

Any books that a student may desire to check out for a class or research can be found through the new contactless pickup option. Students and faculty can pick up their books packed in bags that are labeled specifically for them.

Michael Sgier, Co-Coordinator of the contactless pick up and the virtual service station, talked about the contactless pick up in an article by Proctor. 

“It’s a service that I’m very proud to have been a part of in crafting for the Library,” Sgier said. “It takes a little longer to provide each of these Library services. A little longer to circulate materials, a little longer to respond to questions and problems, just because everything is dependent on humans to complete.”   

Another difference at the library is the temporary stoppage of physical course reserves, which puts a lot more stress on the staff, as they have to scan the pages in a digital format to provide the patrons with the materials they need. The ILLiad and EZBorrow options for books from other libraries throughout the world are still in use. These books can be found in physical or electronic formats along with DVDs and CDs. If a full book is not available, a specific chapter could be loaned to the patron by scanning from the staff.

Despite all of these changes, the question looms of when the library will allow the first floor to return to normal. When asked whether the first floor might see some semblance of normalcy, staff mebers were not sure when changes could be coming.

“We are reviewing usage of services and spaces, particularly the first floor, and may make changes for next semester,” Gaskell said. “As usual, we will continue to follow federal and University guidelines. The goal remains, as always, providing essential services and support while maintaining safety.”