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After two months of forced shutdown, the university is reopening its facilities to students and employees. The Library of Humanities started to receive students again on May 18th, and took various measures to fulfill their needs during the exam period.

The Covid-crisis forced librarians to innovate and adapt their services to the preventive requirements. The “request and pick-up” service, for instance, allows one to borrow books without having to pass through the door of the building. The librarian Anne Bjørkum Åsmul describes the process as follows: several times a day, an employee gathers the ordered books before putting them in plastic bags that people can pick-up in front of the library during specific hours. This aims at compensating the current inaccessibility of book shelves without denying access to literary and critical resources.

A further step has been made while the library reopened to students. It is now possible to request a sitting desk and work inside the facilities. However, caution is at stake and the number of seats has been considerably reduced to respect social distancing. It seems that the measures taken by the University are welcomed by students: while writing exams from home can be challenging given the multiple sources of distraction, some of them appreciate the possibility of working in a neutral environment.

According to Anne B. Åsmul, a lot can be learned from this situation. Although physical books still have long days ahead, librarians and students experimented with another way of working that emphasized the importance of digital resources in the future.