Students encouraged to utilize new library system

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Photo: Sidney Domroes

Celeste Gessner, Assistant News Editor

The Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library, located in the middle of the Utica College campus, used to be more than just a library. The library was a gathering place for students to study with their friends, use its many resources such as the Tutoring Center or decompress after class. 

However, with the ongoing pandemic, the library was forced to undergo changes to meet social distancing guidelines while still remaining the place where students go to socialize in some aspect and get their work done.

In order to reopen the library, the building occupancy had to be cut in half. Dean of the Library and Learning Commons James Teliha surveyed how busy the library was, how many seats it holds and then eliminated some seats to enforce social distancing protocols. 

Students are encouraged to use sanitizing stations to wipe down their area and masks must remain on during their stay in the library. 

To keep the number of occupants in order, the library introduced its new system, Navigate, that keeps track of how many students are in the library. Students can log onto the site and make a reservation so they have a place reserved for them. 

Teliha invites students using Navigate to make reservations and come into the library to see that it is still the same place it was, just a safer environment for students to continue using. 

“Even if you don’t have a reservation if you come in and don’t have one, then we can make one for you there,” Teilha said. “Right now I’ll tell you, I looked at the numbers and we really weren’t that busy. We have been busy but we also have plenty of room. I’m not sure if that’ll be the case when midterms and finals come around.” 

Despite the efforts that the library has made, some students feel like it might be better to do work at home because it’s easier. 

“You can just do work at home or with a friend,” Senior Christy Dean said. “The work you do in the library can be done at home. It’s just an easier solution.” 

However, some graduate students, including Omotola Balogun, are grateful that the library is still open. 

“I can do work at home,” Balogun said. “But if I need something like one of the resources the library offers such as the printers then all I need to do is make an appointment and go into the library.”

The library’s hours are 8 a.m. – midnight Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m.- 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. – midnight on Sunday.


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