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Reservation required: Clemson’s COVID-19-friendly study spaces

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

Cooper Library with students walking down Library Bridge, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

51 out of 602 people reads the informational screen, visible outside of the window and on the wall of Cooper Library. Clemson University is tracking building occupancies, requiring reservations, and enforcing face covering protocol for high-traffic locations in order to adjust to the ‘new normal’ of a COVID-19-friendly campus.

For the spring 2021 semester, Clemson is requiring reservations for all Clemson libraries locations, including Cooper Library, Gunnin Architecture Library, Education Media Center and the Digital Media Learning Lab.

Clemson Libraries has planned for every detail when it comes to reserving a study space. Students can book their space and choose a time slot on the website, view pictures of the different seating areas and even see the total capacity of all study spaces around campus. Once the space is reserved, a confirmation email is sent with instructions to follow upon arrival. 

“I’m really grateful for all of the spaces that we can work at on campus, and it’s nice to have a change of scenery when I’m studying,” said Sarah Webb, a freshman engineering major. “It’s also nice that the seat booking page provides more information this semester because it helps to know what seats have outlets nearby.”

When asked what Webb would like to see more of from the Clemson Libraries website, she said, “I would like to see a floor plan with all the seats on the website.” A feature like this would help students see exactly where on the floor the study spots are located. This would also be helpful if students wanted to reserve a space that is further away from other students. 

The COVID-19 protocols at these locations are taken seriously.  Before entering the library, students must scan their CUID to confirm they have taken a negative COVID-19 test within one week. Each study desk in the Cooper Library has a sticker reminding students to wear a mask and has a packet of alcohol disinfecting wipes.

Near the exit, the Cooper Library also has a table where students can take free bottles of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes back to their residences.

The Cooper Library has six floors, with five of them being open for student study. Students can choose a study space in a variety of locations and options, including lounge seats, study circles, cubbies or even balconies.

That’s why it’s no surprise it’s a favorite study spot on campus.

“The library is my favorite place to study because of the versatility the space offers,” said Omika Merchant, a freshman microbiology major. “I love getting a change of scenery and exploring its many seating options.”

Clemson University has adapted to helping students study around campus, while maintaining social distancing and COVID-19 protocols. Fall 2020 and spring 2021 have forced many universities around the country to rapidly situate to a new normal, with students finding their way on the spot.

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