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How the Library is adjusting on-campus services

Research data librarian Danielle Dennie weighs in on summer and fall plans
July 8, 2021
By Sun Noor

Third-year journalism student Sun Noor is completing a Co-op internship this summer with University Communication Services (UCS).

I’ve always struggled with tackling a heavy workload efficiently. One thing guaranteed to help me stay focused and productive, and overall a little less stressed: a quiet space to work at the Library. Plenty of students feel the same, and the question on our minds is this: what does a return to campus mean for the Library?

“Your Library will fully reopen on August 16, and we are looking forward to seeing you back in great numbers in our reading rooms,” says research data librarian, Danielle Dennie.

Women with long, feathered hair, glasses and a patterned fabric scarf. Danielle Dennie: “During the summer, you have access to quality and safe study spaces in both libraries.”

However, students should keep in mind that the Library will have to continue to adapt its services to the ever-changing safety measures, says Dennie.

“One caveat would be the availability of seating if physical distancing is still required,” Dennie adds. “If the Public Health authorities require two-metre or 1.5-metre distances between library users, we will have to configure the seating that way.”

Workshops and events that happen on campus this fall may also be available online, a hybrid approach meant to compensate for potential reduced seating capacity.

Right now, you can access study spaces by completing COVID-19 training at least 24 hours before arriving on campus.

The Library’s priority this summer is to allow students access to study spaces and the print collections, either through the use of the Contactless Book Pickup service or requesting to browse the bookshelves. The Chat with a Librarian feature on the Library’s website remains a great service. “We are happy and available to provide students with real-time library and research assistance,” Dennie says, noting that some librarians also offer one-on-one consultations through Zoom for more specialized help by specific subject.

When it comes to accessibility, the library has made much of its journal, newspaper and encyclopedia collections widely available online. However,  online availability has been more difficult for items in the course reserves rooms.

“Unfortunately, when it comes to online textbooks, many are either not available to be purchased by libraries, or not available online,” Dennie states.

“In a few cases, they are available online, but they can be priced up to five times more than their print counterpart, making their purchase difficult or impossible due to budgetary constraints.”

Further impediments to the accessibility of online books are restrictions on the number of students who can view ebooks simultaneously; this can be as low as only one user at a time. All these restrictions also apply to online books purchased for the general collection. Thankfully with in-person access this fall, the library’s print collection may alleviate some of these obstacles. 

Dennie says staff at the Library are looking forward to interacting with students in person again. “In the meantime, during the summer, you have access to quality and safe study spaces in both libraries. There is also a wealth of resources available online for you!”

Visit the
Concordia Library website for an overview of resources for supporting your learning journey.


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