This is the first time the reading rooms are being opened – since closing at the start of the pandemic.

A collective sigh of relief, for those who do better in study groups, as the reading rooms in the engineering and commerce library finally reopen.

According to SRC academic officer, Mongezi Maluleka, the reading rooms have been closed since the beginning of the 2021 academic year. At the time, the university was still assessing the safest way of phasing in the return of students, without further risk of spreading the virus.

Maluleka said, “The university was not ready to open certain facilities and accommodate students during the pandemic.”

The reading rooms were reopened following a high demand of the facilities from students as some were struggling to study in their rooms, or in environments that were not conducive for them to study in. The SRC then engaged the Senior Executive Team lobbying for these reading rooms to reopen, and provide more conducive studying environments.

Maluleka said, although the reading rooms have been reopened, “strict covid-19 protocols will be adhered to.” A poster by the SRC detailed that social distancing and other covid-19 measures are in place and student assistants have been appointed to ensure compliance in the reading room areas. Protection Services staff will also do security spot checks.

Keletso Ramalepe, a postgraduate diploma in accountancy student, said, “I struggle with studying at res because I get easily distracted. I fall prey to sleeping when I am working in my room. Now that the reading room is open, I will be able to be productive and study effectively in the library reading room.”

Electrical engineering final-year student, Daniel Diovo told Wits Vuvuzela that personally, he was not affected by the closing of the reading room at the Chamber of Mines Library as he found an alternative in other libraries on the Braamfontein East Campus. Although it has reopened with limited hours, he thinks it would be convenient for students if the reading rooms were open for 24 hours, considering how difficult it is for him to study at home.

Both reading rooms are open for after-service hours on Mondays to Thursdays but closed on Fridays.

FEATURED IMAGE: Students making use of the reading room at The Gold Fields Engineering Library. Photo: Tshepiso Ntombela


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