Wallace Library welcomes RIT community with new protocols and services

Elizabeth Lamark

Wallace Library looks a little different this fall, with new signage, safety protocols, and reconfigured spaces.

RIT’s Wallace Library has reopened this fall with new protocols that enable students, faculty, and staff to take full advantage of the library’s resources as safely as possible.

Library staff will reinforce RIT’s new social norms—wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, and eating only in designated areas—and limit the number of people in the facility to 50 percent capacity.

These campus-wide strategies to stem the spread of COVID-19 will alter how patrons navigate Wallace Library. Most noticeable are changes impacting traffic flowing in and throughout the building, finding and checking out materials, seating and study spaces, consulting with reference librarians, and accessing the special collections.

“When people come into the library this fall, they will notice fewer seats with a new emphasis on individual study,” said Marcia Trauernicht, director of RIT Libraries. “What isn’t changing is the library staff’s high level of quality support for students and faculty.”

Lobby check-in

The library is responsible for keeping track of the number of people in the building and within its different spaces. A library staff member will greet patrons entering the lobby. They will answer questions and explain new policies and expectations, which include no eating in the library—to reinforce the mask policy, and no rearranging furniture—to maintain social distancing.

Newly installed signage will direct patrons through the library’s open layout and remind patrons to keep six-feet apart and wash their hands frequently, especially after being in high-traffic areas.

Please use the book cart

The four floors of the library will remain open; however, patrons are encouraged to use online library services to request materials for pick up at the circulation desk, now partitioned with Plexiglass, or to request campus delivery for faculty and staff. Minimizing browsing is necessary because handled materials must be quarantined for four days, rendering them unavailable for others to use. Patrons are asked to leave library materials they have touched on designated carts instead of shelving the items.

Individual studying and reference specialists

Study rooms are limited to one individual at a time and can be reserved online at RIT’s reservation request website. Reduced seating throughout the facility will help the library maintain physical distancing requirements. Public computers remain available and are spaced six feet apart.

Library instruction will be held virtually. An online appointment booking service introduced before the pandemic will continue and expand to other library services. College librarians will hold virtual instruction sessions with classes and consult with individuals virtually or in person case-by-case.

RIT’s special collections

Patrons can make appointments to visit RIT Libraries’ distinctive collections—the Cary Graphic Arts Collection and RIT Archives. The Cary Collection can welcome two people in person at a time, while RIT Archives is limited to one patron at a time. Research materials will be quarantined for four days after use. Classes offered through the collections will be taught virtually, with exceptions. RIT Libraries’ Digital Collections make available digitized resources from the RIT Archives, Cary Graphic Arts Collections, Cary Graphic Design Archive and RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive. Staff will be available to answer reference questions through a new chat feature on their websites and provide more in-depth research consultations virtually.

“We have been working diligently all summer to provide instruction videos, online tutorials, virtual classes and programming, expanded digital collections, new virtual exhibitions and interesting interactive programming, especially from the Cary and RIT Archive Collections,” Trauernicht said. 

RIT Press

RIT Press continues to publish new titles, including emeritus professor Robert Chung’s Printing-Process Control and Standardization. Staff will be available by appointment only. Online purchases can be scheduled for in-store pickup, mail, or interoffice delivery.

To learn more

Frequently asked questions on the library website lists changes to hours of operation and detail new ways of accessing library instruction, course reserves, and digital project services or special collections to support courses.

Other library services

Wallace Library houses other tenants in the building that will provide in-person and virtual services to students, faculty and staff:

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