Q. Libraries should stay open during yellow and amber weather warnings
Answered By: Ewan McCubbin Last Updated: Mar 09, 2018 Views: 82
Thanks for your recent feedback card about the Library closures last week.
As I’m sure you’re aware, a red warning was issued by the Met Office last week. Even upon the red warning’s expiration, an amber warning remained in place until Friday morning of last week. The clear advice from the Met Office, Scottish Government and Police Scotland that travel should be avoided where at all possible.
We remained closed on Friday last week because of the very real challenges facing our staff (as well as many other university employees) in getting to work. Communities near to St Andrews often unaffected by severe winter weather because they are on the coast, were cut off because of snow drifts. Compounding the situation was the lack of any public transport available to staff as Stagecoach Fife announced late on Friday morning of last week that they would not be running any services.
The yellow warning remained intact over the weekend but we did in fact manage to open on Saturday and Sunday, albeit with reduced hours. This was down to the not inconsiderable efforts of a number of Library staff who did everything they safely could to get to work and open up for users. We started normal opening hours on Monday of this week despite a yellow warning still being in place for some of that day and some areas near to St Andrews still struggling with road conditions.
I am sorry about the inconvenience that was caused last week but this was unprecedented weather-related disruption for the communities in which many of our frontline staff live. However, we are looking to try and avoid such closures in the future by improving our business continuity plans as well as working with colleagues in Corporate Communications to get information out as quickly as possible to users about any changes to our opening hours.
Thanks again for your feedback.
Assistant Director (Public Services & Communications)