University College Dublin (UCD) is opening one of its libraries on campus to accommodate students without reliable internet, or who do not have access to laptops at home.
The library will open despite the shutdown of all schools and colleges in response to combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The university is opening one of its smaller libraries in the health sciences building as a study place on UCD’s south Dublin campus.
The library will open on a trial basis, where measures will be put in place for students to follow, including social distancing and not allowing more than 100 people in at one time.
Students are to register in advance if they want to use the library, in order for staff to control the numbers permitted in the library.
According to the university librarian Dr John Howard: “if there is a higher than anticipated demand this approach will be reviewed … we will not provide any face-to-face services or active invigilation of the library space”.
UCD student, Zara Fitzpatrick said: “although it’s a difficult situation and decision to open the library, I think once all the measures to keep everyone safe are implemented, it’ll be really helpful for certain students who can’t finish their coursework at home”.
It is understood that the university is looking at the best way to accommodate a small number of students at a time, who do not have reliable internet or laptop access, so they can continue their coursework online.
According to the Irish Times, it is believed that some university library staff have expressed their concerns with the plan. As other third-level campuses have taken steps to close their campuses entirely, to protect students and combat the spread of COVID-19.
Trinity College Dublin shut down its campus and ordered students to vacate their on-campus accommodation within 24 hours. However, this decision was later amended. The university is now allowing students who fit a specific criteria to stay in their accommodation.
Image Credit: UCD