BY AUSTIN RUFF
As the fall semester gets fully underway, students are undoubtedly looking to one of the most established departments on campus to get back in the groove, Forsyth Library. For years, the library has served as a place of study, research, and help for Fort Hays State University students. Even during a pandemic, this has not changed.
New measures are in place to ensure the health and safety of all students, while also providing them with the support and help that Forsyth is known for.
According to Deborah Ludwig, dean of Forsyth Library, before opening for the semester, the library examined available research on the virus and its transmission. They studied these meticulously before determining the safest course of action. They were able to then devise a system, whereby all books, magazines, and periodicals are quarantined upon return to ensure that no contaminants are passed to students in future.
“This allows for the safe check-out, return, and restocking of all materials available to FHSU students,” Ludwig said. “It is also FHSU policy that students are required to wear a face mask while in the library to stem the spread of the virus. Be sure to remember your mask.”
Ludwig said Forsyth Library then examined the hourly traffic experienced in the building, and determined that the upper and lower floors should be closed to study seating to allow for better disinfection of the main floor. Students who wish to use materials and resources on those floors may call the library, where they will be given a pass, and allowed access.
“The library is committed to aggressive cleaning and disinfection in order to provide a safe learning environment for students, so it was decided to change the library hours to better accommodate after-hours cleaning,” Ludwig said.
The library will now be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays, and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The library will be closed on Saturdays for the fall semester.
As the fall semester approached, the library understood that adjustments across the board would have to be made, and that they were no exception.
“We allowed the south end to be converted into a classroom, so that large classes would have the opportunity to meet in-person this semester,” Ludwig said, “These are just some of the ways the library has changed to accommodate these unique circumstances.”
In-person events held at the library are approved at the discretion of the university administration, where a face covering is required per university policy and the city ordinance. Most events will be held online, such as the “Cite My Source? Challenge Accepted!” event scheduled for September 10, at 12:30 p.m. Additional events are scheduled throughout the semester, and all students are welcomed. Zoom links are provided on the Forsyth Library web page.
Forsyth Library would like all FHSU students to know that, even though face-to-face time may have been reduced this semester, that doesn’t change the library’s commitment to aiding in the success of all students.
“We really care about our students, and we want them to succeed,” Ludwig said.
Students should have no problem accessing any and all available resources the library has to offer. Forsyth Library has an extensive collection of online resources and e-books, as well as a committed team of librarians that are available to answer questions and help with research, often after the library has closed for the day.
If you would like to speak with a librarian, visit the Forsyth Library page, where you can call, text, email, or schedule an in-person meeting.