Online learning is now critical in supporting students and educators. The pandemic will continue to disrupt our way of doing things.
I spoke with Ide Thompson, a college senior majoring in English and history at the University of the Bahamas to see how he has been responding to the pandemic. Thompson said, “The virus has forced all of my classes to convert to online instruction. While I am used to having online classes and am comfortable with the format, I have three key areas of concern: class attendance, teachers not being familiar with the technology, and personal motivation to do work in a home setting. The virus also makes it impossible for me to access particular sources that are only available in print or stuck behind paywalls that the university doesn’t have access to because remote access to library resources is many times impossible.”
Students and educators are experiencing challenges and barriers to access. Publishers, vendors, and library workers are working diligently to ensure that resources are made available in a timely fashion. Fortunately, there are growing resources and tools being shared at the moment.
In case you missed it (ICYMI), here are some resources that may support your remote teaching and learning programs:
National Emergency Library – “As of March 24, 2020, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the U.S. national emergency, whichever is later, to meet students’ and readers’ needs while schools and libraries are closed at global scale. This library brings together all the books from Phillips Academy Andover and Marygrove College, and much of Trent University’s collections, along with over a million other books donated from other libraries to readers worldwide that are locked out of their libraries.”
Pandemic Preparedness Resources for Libraries by ALA – “This page provides information about preparing for a pandemic, including library-specific policy suggestions and more universal resources on pandemic education, prevention, and preparation. Some of the resources are specific to influenza outbreaks but can be used more universally to help educate and inform decisions on pandemic prevention and preparedness.”
Pandemic Resources for Academic Libraries by ACRL – “This resource guide was created by ACRL to support the academic and research library community during global public health crises. The guide features resources for distance education and engagement, free professional development resources, best practices, and up-to-date information from public health officials.”
ICOLC COVID-19 ISP Expanded Access Specifics WEB: Providers – “The International Coalition of Library Consortia (ICOLC) and the Statewide California Electronic Library Consortium (SCELC) have been collating a fairly complete listing of publisher responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Information Instruction at a (Social) Distance: Moving Library Instruction Online Webinar – “Is your campus closing due to COVID-19? In this webcast, Melissa Wong presents a crash course in moving your library instruction online, addressing options for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, discussing how to engage students in active learning while online, and providing a short list of best practices.”