Disaster Librarianship Reflections on Teaching and Learning from the Heart of the Campus

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Christopher L. Proctor
Courtney M. Block
Melanie E. Hughes


This reflection article explores how a library on a regional university campus adapted its services in response to COVID-19. It delves into some of the novel conclusions drawn by its librarians about how the library has, does, and will continue to contribute to the teaching and learning efforts of the campus community during and after the pandemic. Although the library building remained open as a physical space, the library building was not actually open as a library; however, traditional library services that were previously offered within the physical environment continued to be offered, albeit in modified capacities and in more digitally focused environments. At its core, the heart of the library is the human connections that librarians and library staff make with patrons; choices were intentionally made to transform services in ways that still encouraged human connectedness and belonging within unprecedented circumstances. Specific service-topics include: outreach and marketing; access services; reference and research services; information literacy instruction; maintaining grants; physical versus digital library materials in distance education; and faculty-student mentorship. The article will then explore novel conclusions drawn from this process of adaptation that will have far-reaching implications for the future of library services, as they contribute to the teaching and learning missions of campuses, once normalcy returns to higher education: e.g. the digital divide; equity of access; advocacy; and the implications of interactive, experiential learning.


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Proctor, C. L., Block, C. M., & Hughes, M. E. (2021). Disaster Librarianship: Reflections on Teaching and Learning from the Heart of the Campus. Journal of Teaching and Learning With Technology, 10(1). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/jotlt/article/view/31289