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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Campus

Library services make comeback this fall semester


UH Libraries expand services to students as UH community returns in person. | File photo

The days of merely empty wings are over. With many students returning for in-person classes this semester, UH Libraries are expanding the services they’re opening back up to students.

M.D. Anderson Library reopened Fall 2020 with limited services available for students in person, offering support for distance education to help students taking online courses from their homes.

The library had capacity limits along with restrictions of students to the first three floors of the building.

Desktop computers, printing and book checkout were among some of the only services available to in-person students, technology and group study rooms unavailable.

With the University transitioning back to full operations, library services are able to operate similarly to prior to the coronavirus.

“Students should expect every available service and resource as they are accustomed, including the computer labs, group study rooms, printing and the audio and video studios,” said UH Libraries communications director Esmerelda Fisher.

There aren’t any capacity rules limiting the number of students within the library at any given time, however, students are still encouraged to take precautionary measures by the University, which includes wearing face coverings and practicing good hygiene.

“As a reminder, the University strongly encourages everyone to wear masks in public indoor settings, including M.D. Anderson Library, Architecture, Design and Art Library, Health Sciences Library and Music Library,” Fisher said.

Although other public areas of the M.D. Anderson Library are accessible to students, they won’t be able to access the Blue Wing on floors 5, 7 and 8 due to construction that will end later in the fall semester, according to Fisher. 

For better safety and accessibility, turnstiles were installed in May 2020 and will remain at the main entrance of M.D. Anderson Library. For a more speedy entrance into the library, students will need to swipe or tap their Cougar Card on the turnstiles for entry.

Students who don’t have a physical card will have a dedicated lane to gain access to the library, where they can display their ID from the UH Go app.

“We strongly recommend that students obtain a physical Cougar Card as there may be times during the semester when card access will be the only option for entry,” Fisher said. “In addition, the Cougar Card serves as your library card for book and material checkout and allows you to release print jobs from the library’s printers.”

Library hours are anticipated to remain the same throughout the semester, according to Fisher.

The M.D. Anderson Library will be open Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until midnight, Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 24-hour lounge attached to the M.D. Anderson Library will be available to students throughout the semester.

More detailed information regarding UH Libraries’ services and hours can be found on their website.

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