Covid-19 yields many structural changes to Munday Library, no longer buzzing with students


Gracie Watt/ Hilltop Views

The Munday Library was once a building buzzing with students. These days, the library is usually found unoccupied due to the health regulations, however, most resources are available online.

Since its opening in 2013, the Munday Library has been a social center for students on campus, but when COVID-19 became a threat in the spring semester of 2020, students went home and a slew of new health regulations followed. As one of the social center points of campus, the library had to adjust rapidly.

As campus closed, the fate of the library remained unknown. By coincidence, the library had been in the process of digitizing its paper collection to offer a broader selection of books for students. Interim Library Director Casey Gibbs recalled, “Largely, we were able to offer our services in an uninterrupted fashion, obviously people could no longer come into the building to use the library as a physical space but we continued being able to offer [library services]…we’ve been rolling with the punches and have adapted to the circumstances as they’ve evolved.” 

As the Fall 2020 semester came around, the library used the summer to prepare for the return of students, however limited that number would be. Some changes have come to the library: there is a mask requirement, social-distancing orders, no help desk, no study rooms and a reduction in hours. The library has evolved from one of the main social centers on campus to an online student resource. It has maintained its ability to provide helpful student services regardless of the pandemic. 

Hannah Jones, a sophomore, utilized the library often during her freshman year, but since her return to campus this fall, she hasn’t been back. “I was told by someone that it was closed my first semester back. I know that it’s open this semester but not a lot of people are out doing things [on campus] and with everything going on, it’s more of a hassle to go out and be in public,” Jones said. 

Zoe Garrison, a junior, used the library her first two years, but now that she has no in-person classes, she’s never on campus anymore. “I loved going to the library to study…but with COVID-19, I just stay home to study,” Garrison said.

This spring, COVID-19 precautions will remain in full effect, but the library will remain  accessible online. Looking towards the fall however, these regulations may change due to the updated Biden Administration’s vaccine rollout, which estimates they will have over 300 million Americans vaccinated by the end of July. St. Edward’s announced that the majority of students will be on campus in the fall and Gibbs is optimistic about what that means for the library. “In terms of where we’re allocating our resources, we’re banking on there being many more students in the building, for more hours and those students having more services and resources available to them, that’s our top priority right now.”

In the fall of 2021, the Munday Library will be much more accessible to the student body, both those there physically and virtually. For more updates on library hours and events, follow the Munday Library on Twitter or Instagram