I respectfully request that you reconsider your decision to keep the SUNY Broome Library open during the Coronavirus curtailment. It is not safe.
The library is a huge space, virtually impossible to keep contamination free, regardless of how often it is being cleaned and disinfected. No one wears masks or gloves, and everyone touches knobs, handles, mice and keyboards.
I polled the librarians about the usage and they report that “most of the students that come in have laptops and internet access but prefer to use the library desktops. We have at least a couple students who regularly commute from NYC because they prefer to work in the library rather than at home.”
The librarians report that “The Library has an ‘Ask Us’ Chat and video screen-share tool on every page of the library site including the catalog that is monitored by librarians both in the building and remotely.”
They also say, “Most of the questions that come to us ‘in person’ are about accessing content in BB, assisting with a program or PC problem, citation assistance, article research assistance using a library database, etc. It does seem that in the past couple of days, physical traffic to the library is down quite a bit but there is still fairly close contact when answering reference questions. Clerks are also in close proximity when checking IDs, etc.”
“A lot of our questions are now coming through via phone or chat and I think that the vast majority of in-person questions can be answered remotely.”
The librarians are not seeing any evidence that students will be harmed by the closure of the library. This action will not harm our students but rather keep them safe. You know that we will all make every effort to help any student who needs it, and that includes the librarians.
Please see the attached grid about SUNY college library usage across New York State. SUNY Library Sites and Status Most have closed.
Please do the right thing and close the SUNY Broome Library.
Suzanne V. Shepard, Ph.D.
President, SUNY Broome Faculty Association