Students concerned about mask compliance inside TCU’s library



The Mary Couts Burnett Library. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Shannon Murphy

Some students have expressed concern about the failure of some of their peers to adhere to safety guidelines in the Mary Couts Burnett Library.

The library has instituted a list of protocols, but students have reported these are not being followed at all times.

Diandria Veals, a senior biochemistry major, said she noticed students were not wearing masks in the library during the first week of classes.

“I noticed a lot of people either not wearing their masks or wearing them improperly,” Veals said. “It was just super uncomfortable being indoors with that many people that I got up and left the library.”

Veals has not been back in the library as she feels more comfortable studying in her apartment or in the Sid W. Richardson Building on campus.

Protocols in the library consist of wearing face coverings throughout the building even in group study rooms, staying physically distant from others and using disinfecting wipes on surfaces and in the computer labs.

“We have had some problems with some students not wearing face coverings even though it’s required throughout the building,” said Tracy Hull, the dean of TCU’s library. “The staff have had to frequently ask students to put their face coverings on. Once asked, students for the most part are cooperative.”

Ashley Travis, a student assistant in the music library, said she feels relatively safe working at the library as she spends most of her time behind a plexiglass shield with her mask on.

“The issues I have are when I am walking into work or shelving books because that means I see many students who either take their mask completely off or wear it under their nose,” Travis said.

Hull said if students refuse to comply with the library’s protocols then the staff are allowed to ask them to leave the building, but she hopes it will not get to that point.

Kirsten Lamb, a senior social work and criminal justice double major, works in the library and said she believes students need to understand the position they are putting the staff in when they fail to comply with the library’s protocols.

“Each of the library staff has their own family to go home to and none of them deserve to get sick,” said Lamb. “I think students need to be more aware of the potential impact they have off campus as well, specifically the risk of spreading COVID-19 to more vulnerable populations than those of us who live on campus.”