Kresge Library hybrid reopening targeted to begin Aug. 17

Lauren Reid, Staff Reporter

Kresge Library will open up space and technology to the Oakland University community beginning Monday, Aug. 17. To ensure the health and safety of students and faculty, there will be limited operating hours, no group studying or congregating and no study room usage. Some services will be available in-person, although primarily utilizing a hybrid approach. 

Protective measures will be in place, including mandated face coverings, moved furniture to accommodate social distancing, provided disinfectant wipes and the installation of a capacity-monitoring system that adds and subtracts persons entering the building, among others. 

“This fall, perhaps this entire school year, will be very different for all of us,” said Polly Boruff-Jones, professor and dean of university libraries. 

Library services will be available following a hybrid format. The service desk and book checkout will be open in-person, while contactless pickup and home delivery will also be available. Research assistance from a librarian can be done virtually, over the phone or in person on weekdays from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and the technology desk will open on Sept. 3.

“We are matching [student] online access to library materials with virtual services to help them make the best of our resources,” said Mariela Hristova, associate dean of university libraries. “I would like to encourage students to be proactive in seeking out remote library services; library faculty and staff have the expertise and commitment to help them be successful.”

As far as the OU writing center, the current reopening date is Tuesday, Sept. 8. Appointments will be virtual. 

“All services will be virtual via our online scheduling and video conferencing platform, WC Online, as well as through Google Meet and Google Docs.” said Sherry Wynn Perdue, director of the writing center. “For clients with technology issues, we can conduct the session via phone, too. We will have remote receptionists available by Google Voice and our email ([email protected]) to help writers schedule and troubleshoot technology issues. Moreover, we have introduced a Virtual Help Desk for questions that do not require a full appointment.”

As of now, students will not be able to study in groups or congregate socially, as mentioned by Boruff-Jones. Additionally, study rooms will be unavailable. 

“For at least the fall semester, study rooms and meeting rooms will not be available for use.” Boruff-Jones said. “There are three reasons for this — concerns about social distancing, concerns about cleaning the space between reservations and because we must use those rooms to store the chairs and computers we have had to remove from our public spaces.”

Furthermore, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 7:30 a.m.-8:30 a.m., access to the library will be reserved for at-risk groups. During this time, others are asked not to use the building in an effort to create the safest space possible for those who need it. 

“We really look forward to having people back and hope they will help keep the space safe by following guidelines,” Boruff-Jones said. “Even with all of these changes and limitations, we in the university libraries want to make this semester as ‘normal’ as we possibly can for our OU community.” 

More information on Kresge Library’s plans will be available on the library’s website in the coming weeks as details are available. 

The operating hours planned for Kresge Library are as follows for fall semester:

Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m.-6 p.m.