SFU’s W.A.C. Bennett Library alters services in response to COVID-19 restrictions

While staff are unsure if in person support is feasible, the library will offer numerous remote opportunities for support

PHOTO: Monjur Hasan / Unsplash

Written by: Karissa Ketter, News Writer

The SFU library has adapted to remote and limited in-person services to comply with safety recommendations. The Peak received a joint email statement on the library’s fall services from Karen Munro, Associate Dean of Libraries, Learning & Research Services, and Chloe Riley, Library Communications Officer. 

There is an extensive digital collection accessible through the library’s website, which includes “articles, ebooks, and databases.” Students can also request virtual scans for a “digital delivery” of scanned print book chapters. For those who are seeking in-person guidance, they can access AskAway, the “online chat service that connects to live research advising seven days a week during the academic term,” said Munro. Further, students will be able to email a liaison librarian, a specialized university department official, to set up an appointment for assistance with research.

Students will also be able to request paper books from the library with a contactless pick-up routine that will not have students entering the building. According to Munro, “Staff will be on hand to assist you and provide instructions on how to safely collect your hold.” 

SFU students, faculty, and staff can download the W.A.C. Bennett Library lab’s computer software to their personal computers. The software grants students access to the lab computer’s technology, files, and apps from home. 

The Student Learning Commons is offering remote workshops and online consultation sessions, such as the “Getting Ready for Academic Success program.” This week-long program offers undergraduates the opportunity to develop time management skills, practice writing university-level research papers, and connect with a panel of SFU professors. The Research Commons, which aims to aid graduate students, also offers support for citations and writing through the Research Commons website. 

The library is also considering offering “some study and computing space to SFU students on the third floor of Bennett Library, for limited hours, during fall semester.” While this would not include full access to library books or other areas of the building, it would provide students a “safe place to study and use computers and printers.” Regarding COVID-19 protocols, Munro noted that the library “[anticipates] that SFU staff would be on hand to remind students about the need for physical distancing, and cleaning supplies would be provided for any shared equipment [ . . . ] SFU [recommends] everyone to wear masks in public indoor areas.”

While unsure if it is feasible to open the library during the pandemic’s restrictions, Munro stated that “the library’s buildings may be closed, [but the] staff are still here to help you start the year.” 

For up to date information on the library’s available services, students can refer to the library’s website