How is everyone doing? Have any workflows changed since our last meeting?
One public library recently had to close due to an employee testing positive for the virus. The library needs to have two deep cleanings and a UV person come in. Once the positive test came back, they shut down for the next two weeks.
An academic library has transitioned to working remotely for the time being.
At one community college, they are working separate schedules and getting tested weekly. The library is closed to students.
One college just went on pause due to a sick student -- staff are required to come in, and they provide curbside assistance. For the most part, staff are behind locked doors.
Attendees indicated that some students seem to find the restrictions more challenging this semester. There have been more cases.
Do you have a testing protocol?
Random staff testing if offered.
SUNY has a rule that if you’re working on campus, you have to get tested every week. Tests are offered through a lab that the system has contracted with.
One academic library had all staff and students tested before the new semester started.
Have you made any changes in the new semester?
Offering curbside printer services.
One library is being used largely as extra classroom space. Printers were moved to a new location.
Are public libraries back to curbside?
Up until this week (and the new positive case) patrons were coming into the building. They were able to use services such as copy machines, and were checking out books. The only thing they couldn’t do was bring their books into the library to be checked in.
Are libraries in Connect-NY substituting a new service in place of Connect-NY?
Connect-NY is a consortium of several academic libraries that share materials. Members pay a few to be a part of it. They also pay for a courier to deliver materials. Sharing via Connect-NY is very quick.
Connect-NY is moving to Re-Share. As a result, there will be a transition period where the service can’t be used.
One academic library hasn’t discussed alternative services yet. They’re going to rely on -- going to have to hope for the best.
One library is just going to rely on ILLiad during the transition period. Re-share does have a non-returnable system in development. Connect-NY is just signing up for returnables at this time.
Overally, requests for physical materials are down. This suggests the shutdown won’t have quite as big of an impact as it might have otherwise.
This begs the questions -- how are people’s requests?
Borrowing returnables have been trending downwards for several years now. Students largely want articles. During COVID, book lending has been shut down. The library has been buying e-books for students when they request books.
Last semester this was about 20 books -- it can be expensive to purchase e-books.
Another academic library noted that print books aren’t being borrowed or lent since the beginning of COVID. Since students primarily want articles anyways, it hasn’t changed workflows very much.
One public library system shared some statistics. Delivery volume is down 12% from the same time last year. Searches are down by 18% and holds placed down by 5.5%.
One public library noted that their holds are still pretty strong. Last week their library was closed for two days due to the snow and when staff returned there were 70 items on the hold list.
Does anyone lend e-books via ILL?
Licenses often don’t allow that to happen.
There was some lending at the beginning of the pandemic, but since have backed off.
Just got the licensing to do it for libraries; one public library system has a lot of e-books available.
One academic library doesn’t lend e-books -- the licensing is an issue. Sending through ILLiad is also really challenging. There are ways to lend e-books, but it can be pretty complex.
Everyone noted that there was a significant amount of requests for e-book chapters. There has been a steady increase in requests as students realize they are available.
Students have also indicated preference of paper books over e-books in the past.
Students have been pretty resourceful, even though they haven’t had the typical library experience because of COVID. There was some concern that this was going to be a barrier to their success.
What is your experience working from home? Do you like it? Could you see it being a part of your work life moving?
Was working remotely before COVID. It’s hard missing people, but it can be nice to be home.
If you are familiar with what you are doing and what not needs to be done, a hybrid approach going forward could be useful.
One attendee noted that they were Initially really resistant to working from home. It was hard to get used to working remotely. Over the past year, however, they have looped to loving it. They do have have to go back to the office periodically to handle ILLS.
Like the home / work split.
It feels a little more challenging to contact colleagues -- you can’t just pop over to their office to say hi.
Do you think your organization will let you continue working remotely in the future ?
So far it seems that people will be required to be back on site in the future.
Not going to happen at one college -- they were on campus last semester and that only changed due to some positive cases.
It’s still unsure whether the college will green light this in the future.
It would be nice to be able to continue this as a hybrid model.
Has the pandemic changed the relationship between ILL and different departments?
Beforehand, if something was in the collection -- they would need to come pull it from the stacks. Now, there’s a need to meet patrons more where they are. They had to work more closely with professors to create accessible course materials. It has brought people together who otherwise might not have worked together.
Physical reserves can be something of an issue -- especially when it comes to quarantining and safety measures. One college is going to do away with physical reserves for the semester. They are encouraging professors to use scanned chapters instead, and are offering help to get the materials for them.
Are there any ILL or access services projects you’ve been working on that you’d like to share?
Updating serial holdings in DOCLINE and OCLC.
Did a holdings validation of microfilm. Were able to look at that and weed unnecessary things.
Have you found any helpful resources / professional development?:
Tech - talk provides some great resources for technology, as well as general work tips. You can sign up for their emails by heading here: https://mailchi.mp/senylrc/news.
Starting working groups looking at EDI.
Different library councils around the state have been offering webinars. There’s a shared calendar of ESLN events available here.
At first, things were a lot more open and accessible to everyone.
A lot of the free things from publishers have vanished.
The Northwest ILL Conference recently made all their archives available. You can see the full program here: https://nwill.org/2020-program. The youtube videos are available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8rwoWh1BuOyxFU4Hbh_Hmg/videos