Library reshapes services to meet COVID-19 needs

When the pandemic working from home order came through for the first time in March, our library services team wasted no time in reshaping their services to deliver on the needs of their many and varied clients.

The library team of 7 employees across five sites had just three days before the initial lockdown to close the physical libraries, document how they could ensure service continuity, and set up additional online access points such as ‘chat with a librarian’ on the library website, to implement what was needed to deliver the existing range of services remotely.

The second time, they had just one day!

Director, Library Services, Alice Anderson, says it’s been a very interesting time shoring up online resources and keeping pace with client needs and gaining a greater understanding of how services might be provided in the future.

“With knowledge changing on a daily basis in relation to this pandemic, we’ve needed to make sure our researchers and front-line clinical teams have had the latest coronavirus-related intelligence and research, to help ensure everything they do is evidence-based.

“So we collated key resources on COVID 19 in an online guide including links to pre-built search strategies to get the latest information to them quickly.

“Meanwhile, some employees have found themselves with extra time because of services closing temporarily or for some other reason, and looked to maximise that time by undertaking additional study or research. They also need support from the library,” Alice said.

Working quietly behind the scenes, as they often do, the library team has been evolving services and exploring things that have worked well and might last the test of time. For example, to ensure strategic projects kept running across the team, they tapped into functionality within their existing library system to create an online reporting and tracking system with weekly updates and team chat.

“We wanted to make sure the clinicians didn’t notice any blips and I think largely we’ve been successful with that,” Alice said.

One of the new resources the library has put together is a library guide for managers on teamwork, communication, managing and leading. The variety of resources includes articles, podcasts, videos and other easy-to-digest information to help every manager.

Approved by Anjali Dhulia

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