IUS Library changes in-person library services to combat COVID-19


John Clere

File photo.

Emily Owen, Staff Writer

The IU Southeast Library made changes to its policies, workstations and mailing book services this semester in response to COVID-19 safety guidelines.  

When a student or faculty member enters the library, they are required to wear a mask and are advised to sanitize their hands. The library also advises visitors practice physical distancing of at least six feet or more from other people.

C. Martin Rosen, the director of library services, said he has been at the library almost every day since the fall semester began, and that students who plan to use library workstations have new guidelines to follow.

“We have rolling chairs in the library that we put and station them in a particular area in the library,” Rosen said. “What we do is ask students to take one of those chairs, roll it to a workstation, where there is no chair, work at that workstation, and leave the chair there.” 

By leaving the chairs at the workstations, the staff will know which workstations have been used and need to be sanitized. 

The library staff worked with IUS Informational Technology to ensure computer workstations were not adjacent to one another in an attempt to adhere to physical distance requirements. 

The library still has study rooms that can be used throughout this semester, Rosen said, but only for one person at a time. The rooms are not large enough to safely accommodate more than one person at a time.

Students and faculty now have the option to have contactless pick up by requesting to pick up library materials using the  Indiana University Library Catalog and showing their IU CrimsonCard at checkout. 

The library has a mail service now available for this semester. Books can be ordered through the IUS Library website. Students can order up to five books or DVDs per semester, and only if the library is the owner of the material.

Christopher Proctor, the coordinator of access services, is the library faculty member who established the mailing service for this academic year.

“I wanted to do it especially because distance education is growing, and people are not having to come to campus and this was established in March,” Proctor said. “And the research clearly shows that students, both graduate and undergraduate, still prefer physical books over electronic books when it comes to their studies.”

The library has reduced hours for the fall 2020 semester. It is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and closed Saturday and Sunday.