Beginning on August 2-16, Cal State Fullerton's Pollak Library will reopen for in-person visiting with limited hours. The hours will increase when the fall semester begins on August 23, operating Monday through Saturday.
The university campus, including the library, was originally closed to the public last year. The library faculty and staff began offering virtual services and assistance to students both on and off-campus.
The recent release of the Presidential Directive No. 22: Covid Mitigation Measures and Guidelines includes updated information for vaccinated and unvaccinated university community members for the upcoming semester.
The directive states that vaccinated individuals will not have to wear masks indoors in most settings. However, unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear masks indoors in settings such as the Pollak Library.
Leo Lopez, director of chemical hygiene and radiations Safety officer from Environmental Health and Safety, said custodial services will clean and disinfect spaces before campus re-entry. Once the library opens, custodial staff will continue their increased disinfection of high-touch areas in common areas, and pre-pandemic cleaning levels will resume for workspaces and classrooms.
Lopez also said that COVID-19 health and safety signage has been updated throughout campus, including the library, to align with Presidential Directive No. 22.
"Signage will be placed on building entrances, some high traffic hallways, outside elevators, and restrooms, as well as on the campus digital displays," Lopez said.
Despite being closed to the public last fall, the Pollak Library allowed students to reserve 2-hour study spaces on the north side of the building's first floor through an online reservation form. Although the study areas were limited to 100 people, the other library floors remained closed.
However, during the 2021 spring semester, study spaces at the library closed and have remained closed. Last spring, Gregory Witmer, Pollak Library services specialist, said that reopening depended on health orders and guidelines from both the state and the university.
According to the university's Division of Information Technology website, Smart Group Study Rooms located in Pollak Library North will continue to remain closed until further notice. The Pollak Library website also states that study room reservations will remain closed until further notice.
Mike DeMars, Pollak Library associate dean of public services, said there will be several new spaces for quiet study and collaboration during the fall semester. He added that for the first time since March 2014, the library's 4th and 5th floor of the south building will be open to the public.
"The opening of these floors has greatly increased our seating capacity in the building," DeMars said. "It will also provide students with direct access to our print collection."
Last spring, Mihaylo hall also offered designated study spaces located on the first-floor lobby of the building to students. However, reservations closed soon after the end of the spring semester.
Sepehr Sobhani, manager of College Support Services for the IT department, said there are no longer any study locations available to students in the Mihaylo Hall lobby. The original furniture has now been moved back into the lobby to resume its regular function, he said.
According to Sobhani, a total of 193 study space reservations were made during the spring semester.
After newly confirmed COVID-19 cases started increasing from moderate to substantial, L.A. County announced on July 15 the reinstatement of the mask mandate, requiring people to wear masks regardless of their vaccination status in all indoor public areas.
Ellen Treanor, the associate vice president for strategic communications, said the university is not expecting Orange County to recommend masks indoors.