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Cambridge University Library

 

Information for Cambridge students about University and Faculty and Departmental Library Services in the academic year 2020/21 

As we look towards Michaelmas Term, we are working to give you up-to-date information about available services across Cambridge University Libraries. We also want to share with you our intentions in designing these services, and outline our plans for managing them over the course of the academic year.

Coronavirus means this academic year will be unlike any other, but students are at the heart of everything we do.

Your Faculty, Departmental and University Library Services have been designed to give you the access you need to resources and support, while keeping you and staff safe. Covid-19 presents the nation and the University with a fluid and rapidly changing situation, and we know you will understand that we may have to make changes to our services at short notice. But to help you plan your studies, this is how we intend to manage our services in response to changing levels of UK Government restrictions relating to Covid-19.

Help us to help you keep safe and keep learning

 


Our levels of service in response to UK Government restrictions relating to Covid-19

Level of service

Tier 1 description: a controlled blend of online and physical library services.

What this means for library users

Tier 1

 

This maps to

the UK

Government

Tier 1 for UK

Universities

Under UK Government restrictions we are able to provide a blend of online and controlled physical library services.

Safety measures determine what is possible on each physical library site (e.g. safe occupancy levels and social distancing).

A digital-first approach is adopted wherever it is most appropriate and possible.

A blend of controlled access to physical libraries and physical collections underpinned by a robust core of remote services and online resources. This includes:

  • remote services and online resources
  • bookable access to study space in selected library sites
  • access to the physical collection through a range of services defined by what is possible at each site.

Library users are encouraged to use the online and remote services as a first-resort wherever this is possible.

Level of service

Tier 2 description: zero-contact and digital services model, with limited on-site reader access.

What this means for library users

Tier 2

 

This maps to

the UK

Government

Tier 2 for UK

Universities

As set out by the UK Government, a move to Tier 2 would increase the online proportion of learning delivery.

This would require a change in how we deliver physical library services. 

Tier 2 would put increased emphasis on remote delivery of library services with a reduced level of onsite reader access to library sites.

Safety measures determine what is possible on each physical library site (e.g. safe occupancy levels and social distancing).

A digital-first approach will be the default for the management, delivery and administration of library services.

A blend of services but with additional restrictions affecting access to the physical library.

Zero-contact services are provided to facilitate access to as much of the physical collections as possible and this is supported by a robust foundation of remote services and online resources. Study space and front-line service access is further restricted with study space access consolidated in a smaller set of ‘hub’ libraries.

Library Services in Tier 2 include:

  • remote service and online resources
  • zero-contact services from a select number of library hub sites proving Click & Collect, Scan & Deliver and Ask-A-Librarian/Curator
  • limited controlled access to study and research facilities in a smaller set of hub libraries.

Library users will need to use the online and remote services as a first-resort as only limited zero-contact services will be available

 

Level of service

Tier 3 description: zero-contact services and digital services only.

What this means for library users

Tier 3

 

This maps to

the UK

Government

Tier 3 for UK

Universities

As set out by the UK Government, a move to Tier 3 would further increase the online proportion of learning delivery and reduce physical access to libraries.

This would require a change in how we deliver physical library services to support learning.

Safety measures determine what is possible on each physical library site (e.g. safe occupancy levels and social distancing).

A digital-first approach will be the default for the management, delivery and administration of library services.

A blend of zero-contact services to provide access to as much of the physical collections as possible and a robust core of remote services and online resources. No study space access is possible in this scenario.

Library Services in Tier 3 include:

  • remote service and online resources
  • zero-contact services from a select number of library sites proving Click & Collect, Scan & Deliver and Ask-A-Librarian/ Curator.

Library users will need to use the online and remote services as a first-resort as only limited zero-contact services will be available via a select number of hub library sites.

Level of service

Tier 3 description: digital library services only.

What this means for library users

Tier 4

 

This maps to

the UK

Government

Tier 4 for UK

Universities

Tier 4 moves all learning to online delivery if very significant restrictions are required to be in place locally and/or nationally as a last resort in defence against the virus.

Safety measures determine what is possible on each physical library site (e.g. safe occupancy levels and social distancing).

A digital-first approach is essential for all services - for library users and library staff.

A robust core of remote services and online resources. No access to the physical collection nor the physical library.

Tier 4 Library services include:

  • remote service and online resources only.

 We want to share the most accurate version of our planning, and we will review this table as we receive updates from the UK Government and the University of Cambridge. 


 

Our services for this year have been designed to prioritise remote access to services and resources and to be flexible to allow us to change between different levels of service if this is required in response to restrictions required by the UK Government and the University of Cambridge.

To help keep other students and staff safe, please use the online library resources and services as a first resort for your studies wherever it is possible.

We have vastly increased the availability of online resources and services, including remote support from subject-specialist librarians.

Please remember the following guidelines:

There is limited study space thus year because of restrictions on building occupancy to help ensure a safe and enabling working environment. Not all libraries will be able to provide study space. There may be additional limits on study space in response to changing UK Government restrictions.

You will need to base more of your independent study in your private or college accommodation this year.

We may have to adapt or withdraw services at short notice if individual staff and library teams face illness and/or have to self-isolate. But we have put all your core library services online so you can access them remotely:

  • Subject-specialist staff can answer your information skills questions online through email and video-chat to help you learn.
  • Library study skills training for your subject will be available online.
  • Rare book and Manuscript Specialists are available to video-chat and answer your email enquiries, including digital scans where possible.

New services

We have put new services in place just for you to help keep you learning through this unprecedented time, and we will keep these services running as long as it is safe to do so. The combination of services listed may have to change in response to further Covid-19 restrictions.

  • Click and Collect. At many Faculty and Departmental libraries and the University Library you can order a book online and collect it at the entrance to the library, Department or Faculty.
  • Scan and Deliver. You can order digital scans of physical library resources to help you study. There are legal copyright limits on how much of any one work you can request. This service is free to current students.
  • Browse and Borrow. At some libraries, but not all, you can browse the shelves, select and borrow directly using the self-service kit at the library. This is not possible at the main University Library.
  • Book-a-study-seat. You can find out online and via the Library’s SpaceFinder App which libraries are able to provide bookable access to socially-distanced study seats within controlled number limits.
  • Request a print-copy from the Electronic Legal Deposit collection. The Legal Deposit Regulation requires a small fee to be charged for this service.

What we ask of you to help keep our library users and staff safe:

  • Use the online resources and remote services wherever possible to minimise physical visits to the libraries.
  • Use the zero-contact library services where you can, like Click & Collect to minimise coming into the libraries.
  • Use the booking services to schedule your use of study space. This means you know you have a study seat reserved to help you plan your study.
  • You will be required to wear a face covering in the Libraries, unless you have an exemption.
  • You will be required to observe social distancing and to respect the changed layout and one way routes in libraries.
  • Follow #StaySafeCambridge rules: wash your hands and use hand sanitizer regularly, including before, during and after your library visit.
  • Be kind and courteous to each other and Library staff and follow the safety protocols in place. Everyone is doing their best during a difficult time.

Posted on 21 September 2020 on behalf of Jessica Gardner (University Librarian and Director of Library Services) and the Cambridge University Libraries Gold and Silver Recovery Teams.