Easter Term, also known as the exams and assessment period (we’re sure there are plenty of other names for it too!) can be stressful at the best of times, let alone in the middle of a global pandemic. The way in which teaching and exams are being done is different; we’re all still affected by the lockdown restrictions (although happily easing in line with the Government’s roadmap) and all of us, students and staff, are getting to grips with these changes in the way we operate and study on or off campus.
We’re committed to supporting you in the best way we possibly can. Our health and safety measures are the most important factors in keeping access to our buildings available; these factors mean that we can’t operate at the full capacity limits we would normally be able to offer within the Billy B. Nevertheless, we’ve secured alternative study spaces across the city, with support from colleagues across the University, taking us up to 1,183 study spaces available to students on campus. Opening hours have been extended and all our spaces will be for quiet, individual use to support those who choose to complete their online exams within our buildings. (Find out more about our study spaces on our FAQs).
So yes, we’re still restricted in the number of spaces we can provide safely in our Covid-secure buildings. But you can help us to make sure everyone currently in Durham[BJ1] has fair access to our study spaces:
- Continue to pre-book before you visit us through our Space Bookings system.
- Please only book spaces you need. It sounds simple, but we know it’s tempting to book as many slots as you can!
- If you do over-book – it’s no problem! As soon as you know your revision schedule, simply cancel any timeslots you don’t need. This gives someone else the chance to book the space. And the sooner you cancel, the better for your fellow students.
- Give some of our new study spaces a try. If you’ve never visited Elvet Riverside, the Ballroom at Dunelm House or the new Mathematical Sciences and Computer Science building, now’s your chance. There’s information in our Study Spaces guide on how to access each building, with photos and short videos to give you an idea of what to expect and where to go.
- Speak to our Covid Marshals or Library staff if you have any concerns while in our study spaces; they’re here to help keep everyone safe.
- Please leave your study space and the building promptly at the end of your session to support our wonderful cleaning teams and security staff, who have to lock up buildings at the specified closing time.
- You can follow our hashtag #BeeConsiderate on social media, highlighting ways in which we can all work together and support one another.
For those of you not returning to Durham, we will continue to support you through the services introduced over the last few months – our free postal returns and scan and deliver services remain available. We’ve also extended our free postal loans service to all UK based students and staff who are currently living outside the city. And, as always, our online services are available to everyone – anytime, anywhere – including access to our online resources, subject guides and our friendly and supportive team on our Virtual Enquiry Desk are only an email or chat message away.
You can still access research material and objects in our archives and special collections and museums. Barker Research Library (Palace Green), 5 The College, Ushaw College and Oriental Museum are all available for pre-booked researcher access. Many of our items have been digitised and are available to access online.
During this term, self-care should be a top priority. Including regular breaks and relaxing activities in your revision schedule is important. Making sure you eat well, keep active and get a good night’s sleep should also be top of your list. Our Wellbeing guide gives you some top tips and includes a range of resources and information to help improve your wellbeing, including support services available through the University.
And finally…thank you.
Thank you for your understanding while we navigated our way through the lockdown restrictions and the resulting effects on our services, along with your feedback, which has helped inform our service developments.
Thank you for using our booking systems to visit us, making sure we had a safe number of people in our buildings.
Thank you for working with us to keep everyone safe when visiting our buildings. Wearing face coverings, social distancing, one-way systems, hand hygiene – all have played a part in allowing us to continue to welcome you into our buildings.