University Library 2020-21 Opening Guide

The IUPUI University Library building reopened for the 2020-21 academic year on Monday, August 3, 2020. See our hours for the most up-to-date schedule. 

The Library is committed to serving the research and learning needs of our community while also minimizing risk the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) for IUPUI students, staff, faculty, Library personnel, and members of the broader Indianapolis community who choose to return to the Library.

In our planning implementation steps for reopening, we seek to be fair and inclusive. The Library reminds all visitors that we are a part of the wider IU community and will follow the guidelines of the Campus, University, State, and City. Information connected to University is available at the IU Covid-19 webpage.

Library Public Space Guidelines

Sanitation and disinfection

  • Similar to IUPUI classrooms, every individual sitting down in Library spaces will be responsible for disinfection of that space before and/or after use.  This includes computer workstations, tables, chairs, study rooms, etc.
  • Disinfecting supplies will be provided throughout the Library public space.
  • Library personnel will deep clean public technology each day before opening.
  • The overall Library space will be cleaned/sanitized every night.
  • Campus provided hand sanitization will be accessible in multiple public locations throughout each floor of the building.

Social Distancing and Mask Wearing

  • As with all other indoor spaces on campus, Library visitors will be required to remain 6 ft. apart and wear a mask at all times (unless eating or drinking) while in the Library building.
  • Some library furniture and technology has been removed and the remaining arranged in a way to promote social distancing. Please be aware of other individuals in a space before selecting your study space and do not move furniture.
  • Where appropriate, “Stand Here” markers have been placed on the floor to ensure social distancing while in line.
  • If you encounter an individual who is not wearing a mask please remind them that masks are required on campus and that they may acquire one at the 2nd floor service desk.
  • When necessary, signs and red dots (similar to dots in classroom spaces) have been placed on furniture to indicate where to and where not to sit.

Meeting rooms, classrooms, and events. (Guidelines based on IU policy regarding events.)

  • Meetings and events larger than 10 individuals will not be permitted in the Library.
  • Reservations will be limited to 2 hour time blocks


  • Rooms will be arranged, seats removed/marked for use as needed to promote social distancing.
  • Users of these spaces will sanitize the space after use including technology.
  • Each room’s maximum capacity will be clearly marked.
  • The Ashby Browsing Room will be closed when not being used for meetings.

Quarantine of physical library materials

  • While print materials are considered a low risk for transmission of COVID-19 due to their porous nature, other items like plastic boxes containing DVDs or board games may pose a greater risk.
    • Print versions of daily newspapers and board games have been removed from circulation for the foreseeable future.
  • All materials returned via the Service & Information Desk, book drops, or the mail room will be quarantined for 72 hours to mitigate risk.
  • Materials pulled from shelves and left out on tables throughout the building will be collected daily and quarantined.
  • Course reserves
    • Instructors are encouraged to consider digital resource alternatives to physical Course Reserves.
    • If an instructor decides to maintain a physical Course Reserve the items will be marked with information for the user indicating that mask and gloves should be worn while using the resource and that these items have not been quarantined.

Study rooms

The IUPUI community has been singularly interested in the safe continuation of campus life in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the University Library, staff have worked to create a productive environment which allows students to take advantage of our spaces and technology while also balancing public health and safety. Unfortunately, the pursuit of that balance has led library staff to make the difficult decision to cancel all reservations and close all library study rooms until in-person classes resume in spring 2021 on February 8, 2021.

This decision comes as few individuals maintain recommended room occupancy, social distance, and wear masks in library study rooms. This, coupled with rising rates of COVID-19 in Indiana and cold weather moving more people indoors, is creating an unsafe environment for IUPUI students and library staff.

Study rooms are used by hundreds of students each day. When a large group of students occupies the rooms without masks, it increases the risk of COVID-19 exposure of any person who enters the room thereafter. Additionally, the ventilation in these rooms can be poor. This is not a level of risk with which the library is comfortable exposing its staff or IUPUI students.

We know many students use library study rooms for classes and other important engagements, like job interviews. This is not a decision we take lightly. Students who need a semi-private space to study may still reserve one of our study alcoves on the 4th floor, a study carrel on the 3rd floor, use one of the quiet study lounges on the 3rd floor, or the 2120 Learning Lab on the 2nd floor.

General Study Carrels and Graduate Carrels

  • Semesterly reservation of Graduate Carrels has been discontinued for this year and those carrels converted to short-term reservable general study carrel space.
  • Visit our study room reservation page or individual carrels to use our new QR code-based reservation system.

Community Visitors/Non-IUPUI Affiliated Visitors

  • Community visitors will be permitted in the Library.
  • August 3 - August 16, 2020, community visitors will be able to acquire a computer login. Privileges may be limited once classes begin.

Service desks

  • Shields have been installed at the public service points, including the Service & Information Desk, Technology Services Desk, and Herron Art Library Reference Desk
  • Where appropriate "Stand Here" markers have been placed on the floor to ensure physical distancing for lines.
  • Individuals approaching a service desk without a mask with be offered a mask. Library personnel will not provide service if an individual is not wearing a mask.

Library Administration Commitment to its Personnel:

The Library building or specific service unit areas will not open or will close under the following circumstances:

  • Appropriate shields are not installed at service points requiring such shields.
  • There are not adequate disinfecting supplies in both the public and personnel areas of the Library.
  • Daily cleaning protocols are interrupted.
  • The campus determines IUPUI community illness levels are at a level that require service/building limitations or closures.
  • Library administration determines there are not adequate staffing numbers to support a given service.

These guidelines and processes will necessarily evolve as our knowledge of the virus and infection levels change.  Our personnel will also regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the guidelines at addressing both safety and service provision and adjust as necessary.

Read the Fall 2020 reopening guide.