Reading Room and Remote Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic
July 13, 2020
The UTM Library was officially closed on March 24, 2020 following public health recommendations and legislation from municipal, provincial, and federal governments and agencies. On July 7, 2020 the UTM Library started a contactless curbside pickup service for students, faculty, and staff. In the coming weeks and months, the UTM Library's physical services will open in phases in accordance with government and UTM policy. However, the Archives & Special Collections' Reading Room will remain closed until all physical distancing measures are lifted from the UTM Library.
The Reading Room also serves the purpose of storing our archives and special collections materials, which means there is not enough space to safely implement physical distancing measures between patrons and staff. In addition, there is minimal air circulation in the space as the room is required to be closed at all times to ensure preservation of the material. Ontario Public Health and the World Health Organization have sugggested the possible transmission of small droplets in closed environments, which means transmission could occur even with the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment and the implementation of physical distancing measures.
We know our decision to remain closed will be disappointing to faculty, staff, and students that wish to use the materials in their research and teaching. When the UTM Library reopens to staff and librarians, we will work towards providing remote and online access to our materials. Please contact us about your research and teaching needs and we will do what we can to assist.
Written by Mary Atkinson, Nelly Cancilla, and Chris Young