Latest service and space updates: VCU Libraries COVID-19 response

Cabell Library late night hours will change slightly Sept. 27

September 22, 2020

Open hours at James Branch Cabell Library will be adjusted slightly effective Sunday, Sept. 27, due to greatly reduced building use during the fall semester. 

This change is driven by far lower traffic in the building than in previous academic seasons. In the early morning and late night hours, the building is almost empty. Cabell Library opened this fall with late night hours until 2 a.m. On a typical night, there are as few as 15 patrons in the building at 1 a.m. compared to more than 100 in previous semesters. Overall, there is a 75 to 80 percent reduction in building traffic, with an even sharper drop late at night.

As a result, VCU Libraries will make small adjustments in building hours to better align with current demand for space. New hours starting Sept. 27 are: 

  • Sunday 10 a.m. to midnight
  • Monday-Thursday 7:30 a.m. to midnight
  • Friday 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

These hours significantly exceed hours that most other academic libraries in Virginia have adopted during the COVID-19 environment.

“At this time, providing staffing and security to oversee a 300,000-square-foot building during very low-traffic times of day is not an effective use of our resources. We do not expect this change to have a significant impact for most students, but we’re glad to consult with anyone affected about how we can best support their needs” said Laura Gariepy, the associate dean who manages building operations and essential frontline staff services.

This change also supports the needs of Cabell Library employees. By making data-informed adjustments to hours, library employees are better positioned to sustain operations in the event of staffing emergencies, which have been more frequent in light of COVID-19’s impact on individuals and families.

When the building is closed, vast resources remain available 24/7 to the VCU academic community. In addition, robust chat and text hours continue and email inquiries are answered within one business day. And librarians, working mostly remotely, are available for in-depth consultations and conversations by Zoom and email and phone.

Cabell Library's Special Collections and Archives is open by appointment, Monday through Friday. The Workshop is open Monday - Thursday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Weekend hours will likely be added in October. 

Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences plans to maintain its current hours of operation. It generally closes at 9 p.m., with shorter hours on weekends. Hours for all libraries

VCU Libraries leadership will monitor data and feedback closely and may make future changes in hours depending on needs. 



< Previous  Next >