Transition of University Libraries to Adapt to the New Normal: A mid- and post-COVID-19 Response

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Social Science (IJRISS) | Volume V, Issue IX, September 2021 | ISSN 2454–6186

Transition of University Libraries to Adapt to the New Normal: A mid- and post-COVID-19 Response

Wilfred Jeyatheese Jeyaraj
Eastern University, Sri Lanka

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract- The aim of this research is to examine the response of university libraries during the COVID-19 outbreak and to establish the practices in carrying out their operational procedures, delivery models, implemented tactics and overall functioning. This study adheres to a quantitative approach. Though, during the pandemic, most of the university libraries were physically inaccessible to readers, they continued to adapt practices to interactively disseminate information and services to its users. Libraries were able to introduce and familiarize their users to new technologies and tools that could adequately serve students and faculty. This study reveals that the efforts and innovations of the libraries and librarians were instrumental in keeping alive the library mission, despite the loss of some services. Hence, this research focuses on revealing the practices adapted, their effectiveness, limitations and presents recommendations for the functioning of an efficient post-COVID-19 University Library framework.

Keywords- COVID-19 response, Information Science, Library practices, new normal, University libraries.

I. INTRODUCTION

This study intends on identifying the challenges experienced by libraries and librarians in a time of crisis, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic situation. This will focus on what exactly happened to the libraries and their staff members during the crisis, how they managed their resources, services and access to information, and some short-and long-term challenges faced by libraries.
With the pandemic’s effects and on the rise, educational activities, public gatherings, local events and several other services were brought to a halt in the efforts of trying to bring the spread of COVID-19 under control by minimizing contact. Adhering to the social-distancing and contactless new-normal situation, Universities and University Libraries were forced to close down their physical services. However, with information being a constant and essential service sought after by several users, libraries had to find alternatives to cope up with pandemic in order to evolve [1].