Building a Plan: The COVID-19 Fall Semester

Sponsored by Taylor & Francis

Recorded on 11/09/2020
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 163

Miraculously, the end of the fall semester fast approaches. But before looking to spring, academic librarians will have to reflect on the past few months. With a full semester amidst a pandemic under their belts, what worked and what didn’t?

Sarah Copeland’s library at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga is open to students, albeit with a number of restrictions. Stacks are closed and computer lab space is at a minimum, though hand sanitizer abounds. At California State University San Marcos, Lauren Magnuson tackles an entirely virtual fall semester, which includes a ramped-up patron driven acquisition approach and contactless lockers for print pickup.

This month, we have the opportunity to dig into two divergent libraries’ plans, execution, and learned lessons during the COVID-19 fall semester. In this first episode, Copeland and Magnuson explain how their own institutions prepared for their re-opening plans, whether by specialized task force or a necessary all-hands-on-deck line of attack. They also come to find surprising similarities in their patrons’ needs—who knew today’s students would miss print books?


About the guests:

Sarah Shippy Copeland
Director, Desks and Patron Experience
University of Tennessee Chattanooga

Lauren Magnuson
Head of Collections, Delivery and Access
California State University San Marcos