Beginning March 29, the first day of spring quarter, the UC Santa Barbara Library will reopen a portion of the main library for limited, reservation-only study space. Reservations can now be made online.
The reopening process will be done in phases, beginning with 96 seats in the Learning Commons on the first and second floors of the Mountain Side and eventually expanding to the entire first and second floors — approximately 400 seats. In accordance with public health guidelines for higher education, seating capacity will be limited to 25%.
Seats will be available for current UC Santa Barbara students, faculty and staff. Reservations may be made as far as two weeks in advance and users will be able to book up to 15 hours per week.
“Increasing accessibility to our UC Santa Barbara Library, even on a limited basis, is an encouraging step toward resuming our normal campus life that we have all missed so much for so long,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “I have personally talked with our faculty, students and staff, and have heard how challenging it has been to teach, work and learn without full access to this invaluable facility, which is the heart of our scholarly endeavors."
Yang added, “As the number of COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County decreases, our campus is hard at work to create more on-campus opportunities that enrich our students’ academic lives, while following local and state health guidelines, UC policies regarding access to campus facilities, and our own extensive COVID-19 mitigation plans.”
Said University Librarian Kristin Antelman, “We know students have been eager to return to the Library and have a quiet place to focus on their studies. “We are excited to be able to welcome them back to the Library as we begin to emerge from the pandemic lockdown.”
To provide more information and to answer questions from students, faculty and staff, Antelman will host “Ask Me Anything: Library Reopening,” a virtual Q&A at 11 a.m. Friday, April 2. The link to the Zoom event will be posted on the Library’s Events & Exhibitions page.
To continue mitigating the spread of COVID-19, everyone in the library will be required to wear a face mask at all times and must complete a campus COVID-19 screening survey before entering. Seats will be spaced a minimum of nine feet apart and students will be encouraged to wipe down their space using sanitizing wipes that will be provided. Eating will not be permitted in open study spaces; drinks will be allowed, but masks must be worn between sips.
All areas will be designated as quiet study, and seating will be arranged for individual study only. The group study rooms have been repurposed for solo use by graduate students for remote instruction and research.
For nursing mothers, a lactation room will be included in the reopened space.
Any student with a seat reservation will be able to use the library’s GauchoPrint stations and KIC scanners. The Library Services Desk will remain closed, however, so those wishing to check out materials should continue using the pickup and mailing service.
Students and faculty in the Disabled Students Program who are approved to use the Adaptive Technology Center can make reservations for a temporary ATC space on the second floor, Mountain Side.
The Music Library will not be reopening for study space at this time. However, plans are underway to allow researchers to access the Music Library’s collections during spring quarter.
More information about the building reopening can be found in the Library’s Building Reopening FAQs.
Across campus at the Department of Recreation, plans also are underway for a partial reopening of facilities during spring quarter. Details will be available next week on the department’s website.