The Covid-19 pandemic’s compulsory shift to virtual services forced many libraries to examine long-standing services and procedures, but it also offered opportunities to better accommodate patrons in this New Normal. The UVI (University of the Virgin Islands) Libraries accepted the pandemic’s challenge and committed to continued excellence developing a three-pronged approach encompassing virtual accessibility, greater digital collections, and increased community partnerships.
To offer virtual services at pre-pandemic levels of support, UVI librarians focused on creating and updating library guides, moved reference services to a virtual platform to include a new chat option, increased social media visibility, and focused heavily on the Open Education Resources Initiative, Affordable Learning UVI. Librarians created a marketing campaign to encourage students and faculty to virtually connect for reference and other services. At the same time, librarians began to enhance the digital collections in the library, applying for grants and partnering with UVI faculty to create archives focused on this unique moment in history. The Pandemic in Paradise archive will serve as an important collection for future generations of VI (Virgin Islands) researchers. In addition, UVI librarians partnered with community groups, receiving over $200,000 in grants from the American Library Association and Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote digitization efforts and to create digital literacy instruction for the wider VI community. Finally, the UVI librarians renewed their commitment to the Digital Library of the Caribbean.
Using a trifurcated approach, librarians successfully guided the UVI Libraries through the pandemic, its challenges, and into the new era.
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Derechos de autor 2022 Nicole Hatfield