University of Georgia Libraries ramped up additional resources for students during the pandemic to accommodate for on-campus closures, and even while the UGA campus has been closed, librarians have been working from home to make sure students can find the information they need to continue coursework and projects.
UGA Online offers an array of library resources including a Youtube Playlist of UGA’s Library at a Distance webinars that cover topics from “Resources During Covid-19” to “Introduction to Citation Managers.”
Librans like Sandra Riggs have been consulting with students over Zoom and email to fulfill student’s library needs and help them find the information they need available through UGA’s digitized libraries and ebooks.
“I knew the power of technology and email. It’s different when you are face to face, but she was really proactive in helping me find other things and dig through the research. We shared our screens and really dug into what I found,” says a student that worked with Riggs. “It was a great experience.”
Throughout the pandemic, librarians and archivists have worked from their home offices, patios, or living rooms to build resources, field questions, and provide consultations.
“In the 21st century, libraries are about so much more than books on shelves. Our librarians were able to quickly pivot our services to remain UGA’s gateway to knowledge using all of our electronic resources and services,” said Toby Graham, university librarian, and associate provost.
“I am tremendously proud of the creativity, resilience, and commitment that UGA Libraries employees have shown during the past several months,” he added. “We pledge to maintain digital services that allow our patrons to access information in ways that allow them to remain healthy and safe at home or on campus.”
A partnership between UGA Libraries and HathiTrust has enabled even more online discovery, and in addition to the Libraries’ catalog of 400,000 full-text e-books, emergency access from the digital preservation consortium of 150 academic libraries allowed patrons access to another 2 million titles.
In three months, the libraries have supported access to about 600,000 full-text article downloads and about 776,000 database searches, and the library's staff has acquired new digital content during the pandemic, including video and e-books, with a focus on materials needed to facilitate online instruction.
In addition to instruction consultations, research help, and digitization, special collections archivists and staff are continuing their work to share their collections with the community through virtual tours and events. Libraries’ faculty and staff are engaging in a number of other activities to help UGA and the community through the pandemic.
The Libraries also answered a call for help by the Disability Resource Center, standing up an emergency service to caption video lectures for newly online courses. Also, the UGA Press and Georgia Review were able to offer content digitally that was used by educators from Athens to Israel.
As preparations to reopen the UGA campus are underway, librarians and archivists remain committed to students and faculty engaging in learning during the summer, as students have access to digital academic journals through the UGA Libraries’ subscriptions, as well as e-books.
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View the original article on UGA Today.