Time to Implement: The COVID-19 Fall Semester

Sponsored by Taylor & Francis

Recorded on 11/16/2020
Posted in The Authority File

Episode 165

It’s one thing to plan how to operate an academic library during a global pandemic. It’s a whole other beast to actually put it into action. Sarah Copeland of the University of Tennessee Chattanooga had to contend with an open library. Lauren Magnuson of California State University San Marcos had a fully virtual semester on her hands. How did each execute their plans?

Sarah needed to switch from a two-desk service model to a single desk, enact a rotating cohort model in her staff, and ensure that students comply with mask and social distancing rules. Lauren, on the other hand, had to find solutions for the hundreds of students that relied on physical reserves for their textbooks.

In this second episode, Sarah explains that using compliance walk-throughs as a way to connect with students produced better communication and familiarity with library staff. A clipboard kit of individually wrapped masks, straws, and handouts on university and library policy helped too. Lauren reveals that her library’s existing structure of building digital reserves eased the transition to remote learning—not to mention, uncovered how many students rely on the library for accessible, free options. Plus, San Marcos’ new patron driven approach amassed inclusive and diverse materials that the collection had previously lacked: “Students have really stepped in with what they’re requesting and what they’re researching, and shown that students are very good at identifying resources that are going to reflect their lived experiences.”


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


Enjoy the episode? Check out the first one in the series: