Libraries have been in the process of moving online for more than 20 years. Books are online, journals, maps, manuscripts, films, data sets, and more are available through the library homepage. The strange part for your librarians has been not being in the library. We miss our little library. We miss the students. We miss those moments where students drop by to ask a question, or a colleague stops in to return a book and we end up chatting for 15 minutes. These are hard to live without. Sometimes we even miss those pesky paper-jams. And of course, we’re gutted that our beloved mascot Nyumbu won’t be lighting it up on the Gram for a while.
Though the COVID-19 crisis has forcibly removed us from the physical books and space that we are so closely identified with, we are still available through our one-on-one consultations, ASK: Chat with a librarian service, and firstname.lastname@example.org email address to help with research assistance and citation questions.
We are continuing to find ways to support our faculty and students as they transition to the online learning environment. We have been using Microsoft Teams heavily to collaborate. Sharing ideas by sending messages back and forth and prototyping ideas for new services using Teams’ share-screen function has become a big part of our days. We’ve also been heavily using Office365 to jointly collaborate on documents in real-time – often while talking on Teams. As we get deeper into the rhythm of working online, we envision using video-conferencing to support our students and colleagues in real time. That’s the next big experiment! But in the short-term we are looking forward to working with instructors to get their reading lists online for the summer semester – look for our email towards the end of next week!