BYU closes library study area — again — due to mask non-compliance

The Harold B. Lee Library administration posted signs announcing the closure of the reading room on the second floor.
(Hannah Miner)

The Harold B. Lee Library closed its reading room Friday afternoon due to non-compliance with the BYU mask policy.

This is the second time the library has closed the area in less than two months. The second-floor room was first closed in mid-December and remained close until the start of Winter Semester because of students’ failure to wear masks.

According to the library’s Twitter account, the library is also considering whether other areas will be shut down. Library communications manager Roger Layton said the library already has plans ready if it needs to close level 5 or level 2. The library has also closed the map area a few times in the past.

“We hope we never need to close the entire library,” Layton said. “No one in the library administration wants to end the week closing things. We are all in the library world because we want to provide as much support to students and faculty as possible. We hope mask-wearing picks up again and we can finish the semester safely.”

He added that the library doesn’t want to share exact numbers regarding non-compliance because it “might encourage some people to think they can take their mask off if they are the only one.”

In addition to the signage and positive messaging used last semester, the library has also implemented Healthy Together passport checks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

BYU and Utah County’s COVID-19 numbers are down compared to the start of Fall Semester 2020, with a daily average of 23 new cases from Jan. 8 through Feb. 11. Utah County currently has 3246 active cases, while BYU has 80.

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