Fernando Palacios walking into J. Paul Leonard Library on Feb. 7 at J. Paul Leonard Library. (Rene Ramirez / Golden Gate Xpress) (Rene Ramirez)
Fernando Palacios walking into J. Paul Leonard Library on Feb. 7 at J. Paul Leonard Library. (Rene Ramirez / Golden Gate Xpress)

Rene Ramirez

SF State’s library is reopening. Here’s what’s open.

Students can now study on third and fourth floors and browse the book stacks

February 14, 2022

On the third floor of the library, Liannah Rodriguez and Danyl Kuzmychov sit at a table. It’s next to floor-to-ceiling windows that look out on students going through the Quad. Coffee, pastries and their two laptops are spread out across the table as they chat and work.

It’s a scene that has not been possible for the nearly two years since the COVID-19 pandemic began. From March of 2020 until yesterday, the upper floors of the library were not available to students. 

“Before the pandemic, I was here every day during the school week,” Rodriguez said. “It feels nice to have it back open instead of just the first floor.” 

SF State’s J. Paul Leonard library fully reopened Monday for the first day for in-person classes this semester. Students are now free to roam the upper floors of the library after being restricted to the ground, first and second floors last fall. The expanded access also gives students the ability to browse the book stacks independently. 

The “green dot” that required students to take the SF State COVID-19 survey in order to enter is gone. Masks are still required, and eating and drinking is still not allowed. 

Deborah Masters, the university librarian for SF State, said this reopening means that the space available in the library has returned to what it was before the pandemic. The hours of the library remain reduced though, just as fall semester. 

The first floor research commons  is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and is closed for the rest of the weekend. The study commons on the ground floor is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday. Hours for all spaces and services located within the library are posted on the website

Before the pandemic, the research commons was open 24 hours a day during semesters. The ground floor study commons was open until 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

The decreased hours are due to the decreased level of student occupancy, Masters said. “We really try to gear up to how many students are here when.”

That includes making adjustments according to student feedback. According to Masters, all of the library was originally closed at 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday during the fall semester. But after hearing complaints from students who still had class after that time and did not have anywhere to take them, the library opened the ground floor until 10 p.m. 

The library is not introducing any new resources or programs this semester, Masters says, but is instead focusing on reintroducing services that have been unavailable to students amidst the pandemic. 

The Digital Media Studio and MakerSpace, home to technology resources for student use, remains closed. Instead, the library has moved some of the high-end computers down to the first floor Research Commons. 3-D printing is available upon request. 

Kuzmychov is thankful for the expanded reopening. “Especially now with classes being in person and online at the same time, it’s nice to be able to do online classes here and go to class in person,” Kuzmychov said. “Otherwise, I’d be in a pickle.”

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About the Contributors
Sarah Bowen, Staff Reporter
Sarah Bowen is a journalism major and campus writer for Xpress. Before transferring to SF State in the spring of 2021, she attended University of Oregon for two years. Sarah is originally from Los Angeles. When not writing, she likes being outdoors and hanging out with dogs.
Photo of Rene Ramirez
Rene Ramirez, Multimedia Editor
Rene Ramirez (he/him) is a fourth-year photojournalism major with a minor in race and resistance studies at SF State and is the multimedia editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is from the Bay Area where he runs and owns his magazine, FIRSTPLACE Magazine. Through this, he has been able to take photos at concerts and music festivals around the country. In his free time, Rene has an addiction to buying cheap 35mm film cameras.

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