A warm welcome to Durham University Library and Collections 2020-2021

A message from Mike Wall, Assistant Director and Deputy Librarian in the University Library and Collections

If you are a new student joining us at Durham University this year, welcome! We’re so pleased you’ve chosen Durham for your studies and we hope your time with us is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding experience. And to those of you who are returning at the start of a new academic year, welcome back! After such an unceremonious parting six months ago, we’re excited to be able to open the doors of our libraries to you once more.

Within the University Library and Collections department, our team is passionate about providing help and support to the university community, and we pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable whilst delivering high-level customer service, specialist support and guidance on accessing our extensive collections. That’s what we’re here for. If you’re new to the library, our new student video guide will help you to find out more about the services available to you and how you can access them.

There’s no denying that Covid-19 has caused changes to the way we would usually run our services. There are some things that would have been available in previous years that we can’t do this year, due to government restrictions and social distancing measures to keep everyone safe. So, to deal with the situation we all find ourselves in, we’ve done the only thing that we could do; we’ve adapted.

“We’ve done the only thing that we could do; we’ve adapted.”

You can still visit Bill Bryson Library; you’ll just have to book a timeslot beforehand.

You can still access thousands of resources; our team has worked hard to make sure even more resources are now available digitally.

You can still speak to your Faculty Librarian for support and advice; it just may be via phone or a video call rather than in person.

Our recently developed Virtual Enquiry Desk allows you to ask anything, anything you need to know about our libraries and collections, and is available to you whether you are sitting on the top floor of Bill Bryson Library, in your room in one of our Colleges, in Southend-On-Sea or halfway around the world. Not only that, with our 24/7 Live Chat service, you can get in touch with the Library for support any time, day or night.

This is a new situation for all of us, and we will be incorporating feedback from our users in the service development for this year to make sure that what we offer is what works for you. We are absolutely dedicated to providing you with the support and services you need this academic year, come what may.

“There’s something we must ask of you in return.”

So, now we’ve told you what we will do for you, there’s something we must ask of you in return.

Please, please follow the safety measures we have put in place to allow us to keep our libraries open.

  • Wear a face covering, unless you are exempt.
  • Keep to the 2m social distancing rules.
  • Follow the one-way routes we have mapped out.
  • Wash your hands and use sanitiser frequently.

These are all measures that, when used together, are effective in stopping the spread of Covid-19. If we all work together to keep each other safe within our university community, we can continue to welcome you into our libraries. Your needs are at the heart of everything we do; we need your help to give us the chance to provide you with the opportunities you deserve during your time at Durham.

We look forward to seeing you soon. Don’t forget to keep up to date with our services by checking our website and following us on social media.

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