Delivering Library Services in a time of crisis; Technological Higher Education Association Libraries responding to COVID-19 from March – August 2020
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This paper presents the experience of eight Irish academic libraries from the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA) from March – August 2020 while delivering library services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It presents a snapshot of their experience at this time outlining the challenges faced by libraries in closing their doors and pivoting to delivering library services only. For much of this time library buildings were closed to students thereby making, study desks, group spaces, PCs, access to collections and to library staff at information desks unavailable. Instead library staff worked remotely directing students to the vast array of resources available online from our library websites. Information Desks were replaced with online chat, emails, phone calls and extensive help in the form of guides made available from library websites. Libraries have been offering blended approaches i.e. mix of online and traditional resources for years but this pivot to online only, posed challenges. This article outlines how the THEA sector responded to these challenges and discusses the value of collaboration across the sector and the benefits of this collaborative approach in a time of crisis.
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