Ben Parker / Assistant Photography Editor

Olin Library will only open its first floor and basement to students, and the stacks will be closed.

September 4, 2020

Libraries to Open With 850 Campus-Wide Seats

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The Cornell University Library System will offer a reduced number of on-campus study spaces this semester, available by reservation only.

Olin Library, Uris Library and Mann Library will open with a combined 850 “de-densified seats for quiet study,” director of library communications Zsuzsa Koltay wrote in an email. The libraries will also offer their normal assortment of studying-materials – including laptops and chargers – through contactless pickup.

Koltay said the spots will open “as soon as we have worked out a system for ensuring that safe building occupancy limits can be maintained.” Once these spaces open, students will be required to wear a face mask at all times and won’t be allowed to eat and drink inside the libraries, Koltaya wrote.

The University is using an app hosted by Cornell Chatter called “Book a Study Space” for reservations in one-hour blocks.

As of Thursday, no library spaces were available for booking yet, although students may book several classroom spaces across campus – including in McGraw Hall, the Plant Science Building and Frank H. T. Rhodes Hall.

The first floor of Catherwood Library in the School of Industrial and Labor Relations is open, but only to students in that college, faculty and staff. A reservation is not required to use the space, and it is unclear if Catherwood’s study spots are included in the 850 figure.

Koltay said Mann and Uris libraries will be open with reduced hours – until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Olin will close one hour earlier than Mann and Uris. Traditionally, Olin stayed open on school nights until 2 a.m. and Uris closed most-spaces at 1 a.m., except for the Cocktail Lounge.

Cornell will restrict students from certain areas of the four libraries that plan to open. Uris will offer access to the Cocktail Lounge, the Fiske Room and other smaller spaces. Olin will only open its first floor and basement to students — the stacks will be closed. Mann will offer access to its first and second floors.

Amit Bhatia Libe Café, usually a campus hub, will open for grab-and-go after Cornell installs a temporary exit to the Arts Quad, the library’s FAQ page states.

The University has not communicated or posted plans to reopen any other libraries’ study spaces this semester.