By now, we have experienced nearly a year of work through a pandemic. This has occurred during the backdrop of personal challenges, national unrest and racial inequity and injustice. Despite the many challenges and difficulties we have all experienced during this past year, Countway staff have made significant contributions to the research, education, and service missions of the Longwood medical, dental and public health community.
We are beginning to see in library literature and social media posts, descriptions and case studies of how many types of libraries have provided innovative and important services and resources to their communities during the past year. Countway is no different and in fact, has been seen as a leader by our academic health sciences library community for the ways in which we have addressed the needs of health care professionals, students, faculty, and researchers.
I would like to highlight some of the activities that have emerged. While this is a limited list, it highlights a few examples of the innovation, team work, and commitment of all library staff. Countway library staff have:
- developed innovative ways to support the online curriculum
- quickly pivoted from in-person to virtual instruction, consultation and information assistance
- provided access to historical collections and print only resources via digitization
- provided access to circulating materials through grab and go
- enhanced access to online collections
- developed new significant print collections
- helped scholars make their research available in open access repositories
- continued to make progress on the BML inventory
- navigated completion of a major renovation project
- reopened the building
- brought staff back to the workplace with extensive safety protocols
- enhanced modes of communication to staff and our community using both social media and a variety of other communications methods
- has begun a planning process to address a diversity, inclusion, anti-racism in libraries initiative
As we approach the second pandemic year, I want to thank you for all that you have done to provide the services and resources our community needs to do their work. In the weeks to come, the library’s administrative team will be engaging you in conversations about what we have learned from this past year, and which activities we put in place during the pandemic (not limited to those listed above) we might want to continue in year two and beyond. The Admin team and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.