Following University-wide policy changes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, all Bodleian libraries will close at 5pm today for the foreseeable future.
An email to all Bodleian library staff has revealed the University’s measures to close all public spaces, including the Weston Library and Old Bodleian, with immediate effect.
All book deliveries and loans will also cease from 5pm today, according to the email.
The decision also includes the closure of all gardens and museums, including the Ashmolean and the Oxford Botanic Garden.
No end date has been given to these measures. However, the email reveals that all existing books on loan will be auto renewed until 19th June.
The email also encourages Bodleian staff who are able to work from home, to do so as soon as possible, and advises staff who will continue to go in after the closures to exercise social distancing and strict hygiene regimes.
Richard Ovenden, OBE, the Bodleian Librarian says, “These are extraordinary times. We are going through profound changes in how we operate as a library, but we are not closing down. We are simply pausing some of our services, while we continue, and scale-up others.
“We will ‘Keep the University reading’.”
Plans to scale up the University’s digital services were also announced in the email, including the maintaining of the Scan-and-deliver service from the Book Storage Facility, and a new ‘Scan-and-deliver+’ service from Oxford library locations.