Campus Beat Reporter
Just in time for National School Library Month, UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) has opened Davidson Library for the first time since the COVID-19 closure last spring. The library is currently operating at 25 percent capacity on a reservation-only basis.
The decision to open Davidson Library comes in conjunction with UCSB’s current reopening plan, announced by Chancellor Yang in a student-wide email last week. As cases have largely declined since the COVID-19 spike in January, possibilities for reopening all of campus in the fall have become more tangible, with the recreation center’s reopening already underway. Santa Barbara County has recently descended into the orange tier, the second most severe COVID-19 tier. UCSB anticipates that with more vaccinations and consistent safety regulations, we can make it to the yellow tier later on.
The library has been open since March 29, and as of April 18, about 31.5 percent of Santa Barbara County residents over the age of 16 have been fully vaccinated. The amount of fully vaccinated residents has been steadily increasing throughout the last couple of months and will further expand as per the recent announcement that anyone over the age of 16 in Santa Barbara County can receive the vaccine.
However, the library is still exercising caution in reopening. Every student that plans to use the library must wear a face covering at all times and complete a COVID-19 screening survey before entering the building, as well as weekly COVID tests with Student Health Services. All seats are spaced at least nine feet apart and are for single use only. All group study rooms have been repurposed for graduate students individually conducting remote research and study. Users can still access GauchoPrint services as they could during the school year. Restrooms, as well as a lactation room, will also be accessible.
“Just in time for National School Library Month, UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) has opened Davidson Library for the first time since the COVID-19 closure last spring. The library is currently operating at 25 percent capacity on a reservation-only basis.”
The first two levels of the library’s mountain side are the only floors currently open for use. UCSB plans to open the ascending floors in phases, all according to how the pandemic progresses.
So far, students and employees alike have been satisfied with the library reopening. Being able to access a consistently quiet study space has been greatly appreciated by students who do not have the same luxury within their own apartments around campus. The reopening process itself, according to one of the library employees, has also been relatively smooth.
“The reopening has gone well so far,” said Teddy Weber, a student employee at the library. “Slight hiccups have occurred due to glitches in the system when trying to obtain a green badge that is needed to enter the library, but the department responsible for the badges [has] been very reliable in [helping] students during hours when the library is open.”
UCSB students and faculty can make library reservations up to two weeks in advance, and users will be able to schedule up to 15 hours per week. Click here to find a seat.