Close University Libraries during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Petition Closed

Close University Libraries during the Covid-19 Pandemic

This petition had 679 supporters

Close-The Libraries started this petition to UK Universities

While teaching in most UK universities has now moved entirely online, many institutions have chosen to maintain access to library buildings and services. We believe that this directly contravenes UK Govt. and NHS advice to promote social distancing and home working in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The nature of libraries as workplaces makes them extremely vulnerable to the spread of this virus, which can persist for long periods on furniture, books and equipment as well as being transmitted through face-to-face contact between staff and students. 

We believe that maintaining access to library buildings represents a severe public health threat to library workers, facilities staff, the students they serve and the public putting additional pressure on overstretched NHS resources. Many academic libraries have now closed, demonstrating that high standard library services can be maintained safely through electronic resources and communication. Whilst withdrawing face-to-face services may limit some transmission, maintaining an open space still puts other staff such as cleaning, facilities and security at risk of exposure as well as undermining the call for social distancing. 

We are calling on all UK universities to immediately close their library buildings to staff and students and to move towards an entirely online library service immediately.  

This spreadsheet shows an up-to-date list of UK Academic Libraries and their current open/closed status. We believe this to be accurate as of 22/03/2020. If you believe an inaccuracy exists on this list, or your library has since changed it status please contact us on closethelibraries@gmail.com with your institution and current service status and we will amend it accordingly.

Petition Closed

This petition had 679 supporters