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U.Va. Library revises hours of operations for Clemons Library due to mask non-compliance

The decision to close the second floor of Clemons Library will be revised Nov. 1

<p>The decision will be revised by Nov. 1, the same day the University plans to provide an update on its masking policy.</p>

The decision will be revised by Nov. 1, the same day the University plans to provide an update on its masking policy.

The University Library announced the second floor of Clemons Library will begin closing at midnight due to non-compliance with the University’s mask mandate as of Oct. 3. The decision will be revised by Nov. 1, the same day the University plans to provide an update on its masking policy.

The second floor of Clemons used to be open throughout the night. Now, per the Library’s Executive Director of Communications Elyse Girard, Thursday is the only day of the week when the library is open 24 hours — Clemons closes at 10 p.m. on Mondays, 2 a.m. on Tuesdays and midnight Wednesday through Saturday and 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

In addition to the lack of mask wearing by some students studying late at night, Girard explained that Clemons changed its operating hours due to the behavior of some students towards library staff.

“On more than one occasion, a group of students on the second floor of Clemons taunted and bullied staff members when they requested that the students wear masks in compliance with the University’s policy SEC-045,” Girard said in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily. 

“This is totally unacceptable behavior … and I hope concerned students will help us to change that,” said John Unsworth, dean of libraries and university librarian. 

The library previously closed twice in four days last year due to the lack of mask-wearing. 

Clemons is not the only amenity on Grounds that has closed — despite low case numbers and high vaccination rates among students, the Memorial Gym indoor basketball courts are also closed due to a lack of mask wearing until further notice. The IM-Rec sports department continues to update closures and policies as new information comes out through the University.  

Compared to last year’s spikes during the spring semester, there is now a much lower COVID-19 infection rate among students, according to the University’s COVID-19 tracker. Cases reached a high of 224 cases per day last spring, but this semester’s daily high is 27. 

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