The Shatford Library seen in it's pre-pandemic days, seen here in 2017.

PCC library announced the reopening of the Shatford Library to the public on October 25, 2021. The decision has the potential to impact students concerned about lack of space delegated to the students in future semesters. While others are happy to allocate the resources given by the school to the community of Pasadena.

The library, usually filled to the brim with students studying for the next midterm or cracking at a 10 page paper in a time crunch is now a ghost town. With only a few students on campus due to hybrid class sessions, the number of students who choose to study at the Shatford Library has dwindled.

“It’s a great resource for people,” Jim Gilbert, a tutor who helps students in the library said. “It’s a matter of space for students and for the community.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the library has always been open to the public with no student ID required, allowing for anyone to borrow a book or use the space to do work. However, due to the pandemic, the library closed in March of 2020 for safety reasons. Though the library’s resources were still available, with online services and books, laptops borrowed were available for checkout, but the study space for students was gone.

During the 2021 summer semester, the library finally announced their return to in-person services, with safety protocols of checking temperatures and a checklist of possible symptoms to screen each person. As of November 3, students are required to show a campus access badge in order to enter the library, with members of the public having to show proof of vaccination cards to go into the premises. A member of library staff stands at the entry of the library to monitor the entry of each person.

With the space operating at 50 percent capacity, PCC students could encounter issues accessing the library due to the real estate of being open to the public, which would make the library maximize it’s restricted capacity requirements. These concerns were also raised by members of the Associated Students at their Oct. 20 board meeting.

“I absolutely don’t like it,” student Justin Li said. ”The library is operating at a 50 percent capacity already. I know that we never reach that capacity, but it’s also because a lot of the students we have right now are online. So, when those students come back they should have seats in the library.”

It’s been almost a week since the library has opened to the public, though no major concerns from students being denied access have been reported as of yet. That may change in the Spring semester as the college continues to transition classes to in person instruction.

“I think the library should be open to the public,” student Kamaljit Singh said. ”This is Pasadena Community College. This is for the community, I think it will provide a good resource for the public to study. Also, we are never at full capacity in the library. Whenever I go there there’s always empty seats left. I’m sure those empty seats and the wifi can be used by someone in need.”

 

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