Milner Library is currently working toward an outline for their general operations for the fall 2020 semester, alongside other locations on the Illinois State University campus.
With the changes that COVID-19 has brought to everyday life, Illinois State has been attempting to bring students back to campus in a safe and sanitary way. Operations were outlined for what students could expect in a recently released newsletter from the office of ISU President Larry Dietz. However, while many campus buildings were covered in the newsletter, there was little to no mention of how Milner Library will be changing its operations in response to the coronavirus.
“I would not say we have no concrete plans, though there is still a tremendous amount to figure out,” Shari Zeck, the retiring dean of Milner said. “Dr. (Dallas) Long (Milner’s new dean) should have more information after he meets with planning groups.”
That’s not to say that Milner has not made any changes; the library has removed 70% of its seating capacity to encourage social distancing, closed any group study rooms where social distancing cannot occur, added sneeze guards to the circulation desk, spaced out office areas where necessary, are starting curbside delivery of study materials (with an eventual expansion to delivery to faculty offices) and quarantining any physical materials for a period of time after they are returned to the library.
“With the library being closed for the summer, we have lots of time to figure out safety and cleaning protocols,” said Zeck. “We’ll have all of these things figured out before patrons return in the fall.”