Study Safer: What to expect and what's expected of you

August 19, 2020
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As part of return-to-campus activities in fall 2020, VCU Libraries is running a Study Safer public relations campaign. The information campaign, which includes posters, digital messaging and a stream of social media posts, integrates information about safety precautions related to COVID-19, expectations for people using library buildings and coverage of library services and resources both on-site and online.

In the interest of your personal safety and community health, please be aware of these precautions, changes and guidelines for using library spaces.  

Users who fail to adhere to these practices will be asked to leave the building and may be subject to additional disciplinary measures as stated in the Use of Libraries policy or through the Student Code of Conduct. 

  • FACE COVERINGS: Masks that cover the nose and mouth must be worn by all users and staff members. 
  • NO FOOD AND DRINK. Food and drink will not be permitted in VCU Libraries spaces, except for in Starbucks at Cabell Library. Sips of water are OK throughout the libraries, but face coverings must be put right back on. If you carry in food from home or a vendor, please eat at the Student Commons or its adjacent outdoor tent. You may also eat on the lawn or seating areas outside Shafer Court Dining Center or Cabell Library. The outdoor terrace on the Third Floor at Cabell will also be open for eating food; physical distancing must be maintained. 
  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Please remain at least six feet from others. 
  • WORK AT HOME: Staying remote is one way to study safer and VCU Libraries provides vast resources, everything you need to study and learn from home. 
  • VCU CARDHOLDERS ONLY: To provide priority use to students, faculty and staff, users may be asked to show VCUCards to enter library buildings. 
  • CLEANING AND DISINFECTING: VCU Libraries has increased the cleaning and disinfection of restrooms and frequently touched objects and surfaces. Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the building. Disinfectant wipes are provided as well. Please wipe down your work area (including study room tables) and public computer keyboards and mice before and after you use them.
  • CHANGES IN COLLECTIONS: In an abundance of caution, VCU Libraries has made some changes to its collection handling practices, some of which affect users. These new protocols include: Newspapers and magazines are not available for use. The Art Browsery on the Fourth Floor of Cabell is closed. Returned books and media will be quarantined for three to five days before circulating again. 
  • STUDY ROOMS: To accommodate physical distancing, study rooms will have limited capacity. The online reservation system will specify the maximum number of people allowed in the room. Users are expected to observe the restriction and maintain distance from others. Face coverings are required in study rooms. 
  • EVENTS AND PROGRAMMING: No large public events will be held  in libraries buildings during the fall semester. Refer to the website home page to find virtual exhibits and events. 
  • OCCUPANCY LIMITS:  Occupancy will be limited to promote physical distancing. Cabell will be limited to approximately 800 people total, and Tompkins-McCaw will be limited to approximately 150 people. If a building reaches its capacity, a line will form outside the building with one patron allowed in as one exits. Given the reduced number of people on campus, VCU Libraries does not currently expect either building to reach these maximums.
  • STARBUCKS:  When visiting Starbucks at Cabell Library, follow distancing rules and keep your distance from others in line. Face coverings should remain on unless you are eating and drinking, and food and drink cannot be consumed in library areas outside of Starbucks.
  • WATER ONLY: Drinking fountains are not available. Water bottle refilling stations are available. Water is allowed in library buildings. Replace your mask after sipping. 
  • STAY HOME IF SICK: If you have a fever, symptoms of COVID-19, or have been exposed to COVID-19 in the past 14 days, you should stay home. Touch-free  temperature scanning kiosks are located in both libraries to help you monitor your daily health."VCU Libraries offers robust online resources to assist you if you are working from your home or residence hall. Be well.  
  • ASK A STAFF MEMBER: If you have questions while in library buildings or while working remotely, reach out for help. We’re all in this together. 

We know these are extraordinary times, and we care about how changes in VCU Libraries operations affect you. If you’re unable to get your schoolwork or research done because of COVID-19-related changes, please email so we can look for a solution together. Reach out. 

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