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Librarian’ing From Home

March 23, 2020
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Today marks the first day of online instruction for my college. I had thought we would get hit with a high volume of chat reference questions today as students begin to get information from their faculty about what resources they will need moving forward. However, this rush on librarian assistance has not materialized. Perhaps it is too soon for the students to even think about accessing resources when they are still wrapping their heads around all the ways their courses are changing? Has anyone else noticed an increase or decrease in student or faculty questions? 

The students aren’t the only ones trying to wrap their minds around this new reality. I’m trying to figure out what is the best way to do my job from home. Video tutorials for our website and databases has always been one of those projects that we have never seemed to have time for and now they’ve really moved up the list of important tasks. I attempted to teach myself how to make a gif on Friday. My first attempt – showing students how to search for a specific publication – was not what I would call a success but not a total failure either. Anyone have good tips for creating these types of videos?  

The other thing I’m thinking about is how to offer library instruction remotely. My first experience is coming tomorrow afternoon. I created a LibGuide with resources that will be useful for their assignment which has been shared out to them via Sakia, our LMS. I’m scheduled to be available within their Sakai chat room tomorrow for the duration of their class period so that students can ask me questions. However, I know from my face to face instruction that students rarely ask questions so I’m trying to think of conversation starters I can use to get them to engage. My fingers are crossed that my sparkling personality can come through via a chat room! 😉  

I look forward to hearing from other libraries what you all are doing to cope with the COVID-19 situation.  

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2020 12:16 am

    Surprisingly, I have not had any reference questions or ILL requests since last Monday, when we shut down. I am surprised — and worried.

    • smartin592 permalink
      March 24, 2020 1:08 pm

      We have had mostly faculty asking for us to help them find books/readings/films but I think only 2 or 3 students. I really thought the questions would be pouring in!

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