Last week’s message highlighted several questions I had received over the past month. Some of the questions had clear answers while some could not be answered fully last week. I have some updates I would like to share with you given what new information we have received. The SORT group met Monday, May 3rd& and approved three of our proposals. Details below:
Q1: Were the proposed expanded Library hours approved?
A: Yes, the proposed Library hours for August 2nd were approved. The hours will be:
Monday-Thursday 8:00am to 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am to 6:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 6:00pm
Sunday noon to 9:00pm
Q2: Will CHOM be open soon?
A: The proposal to open CHOM was approved. The CHOM Reading Room will be open via a phased approach by appointment only beginning August 2nd. The phases will coincide with the approved HMS on campus user groups.
Q3: Will we allow food and drink in the Countway Café?
A: The proposal to allow students who have brought their own food and drink has been approved. Students may take a 15-minute break in the Café to sit and eat. The concierge desk staff will monitor the area. If Ambassadors/Junior Ambassadors see students eating/drinking in their study spaces, please ask them to go to the Café. We have removed the Café seats from the reservation system for this purpose. Food and drink are still not allowed in study areas of the library at this time. We will be putting up signage and letting students know about this option as they check in at the concierge desk.
Q4: Will there be expanded dining options on campus?
A: The SORT group approved putting about 200 chairs around the quad and in the Countway Courtyard area. These seats can be used by faculty, staff and students for dining when they return to campus. There may also be small canopy areas for shading but these spaces are not allowed for planned large events with food.
On Monday, I will be attending the next SORT meeting. I was invited to present a list of upcoming potential proposals for planning purposes. The list includes but is not limited to: access to the stacks, access to lockers, one on one consultations, in person teaching, phases of opening to faculty, hospital affiliates, etc., opening the Café, opening the Coop, establishing Countway Cupboard, and a phased Shattuck entrance opening. The purpose of the meeting is to present what activities need attention for a full Countway opening. I will have the opportunity to discuss with SORT the best strategic approach, while still adhering to pandemic guidelines. I do not expect, nor am I requesting all the items to be available in August. The SORT meeting is to collaborate and develop a strategy for a more robust open Countway when health and safety guidelines permit us to do so.