UB open for researchers on May 18
The separate room in the library is mainly used by researchers to study special reference works. These researchers will most likely be able to continue their work after May 18, although they’ll have to make an appoint to enter the room.
‘They can be taken to the room by an attendant without anyone else being in the building’, says spokesperson Frank den Hollander. ‘They’d really like it if they were able to have access to the collection again.’ He says the plan to open the room back up was in place before the government announced on Wednesday that libraries were allowed to open again on May 11.
‘We were really shocked by that’, says Den Hollander. ‘We’re working on a plan, obviously, but it’s not finished yet. I think the government was mainly talking about public libraries anyway.’
Coming up with a layout that would enable everyone in the library to stay 1.5 metres away from each other isn’t easy. ‘We can remove chairs from the study rooms, but what about the revolving door at the entrance? What about the canteens and the bathrooms? So we’re still working on that.’
Another matter is deciding which students are allowed in, and at what times. The UB is always crowded, and social distancing rules will probably get rid of three quarters of the available room. How can the library prevent crowds from forming at the door in the morning?
These are the kinds of questions the UB team is trying to answer right now. Den Hollander therefore can’t say when the library will be open to students again. ‘I hope we can manage it sometime before summer.