As libraries around the world have closed their physical doors to stop community spread of COVID-19, they have responded to the challenges of moving in-person programming to the digital space in novel and creative ways.
The past year’s NNLM PSR Subwardees faced numerous obstacles on top of the regular unexpected twists and turns of special library projects. In a short amount of time, they adapted to their new realities and built lasting, accessible, impactful web-based resources.
Northern Arizona University’s Cline Library at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus spent months preparing for an in-person summit featuring experts on gender diversity and sports from around the country. When that was cancelled, they quickly pivoted and developed GDiS Online, a continuously-available, evidence-based resource guide with background resources, special recorded talks from medical and legal experts, and interviews with intersex athletes.
Outreach, book clubs, and classroom visits were all part of the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine Health Sciences Library’s plan to publicize their new graphic medicine collection. Undaunted, they created a web-based resource guide with three videos to advertise the collection virtually, and items have already been requested by students and faculty.
The project team members at Touro University Nevada’s Jay Sexter Library are no strangers to emerging technologies. One of their first project activities was to create an extensive TUN Health Professions Information LibGuide to educate their community members on how VR, 3D printing, and other technologies can be harnessed in the health professions. Team member Faye Mazzia presented a virtual poster on the project; and Joanne Muellenbach, Megan DeArmond, and Kyle Mefferd virtually participated on the NNLM PSR webinar promoting the subaward program. Though in-person use of the technologies is on pause, the team was already well-positioned to lead in the virtual space. These digital resources and skills can continue to be used remotely to build interest in the project and further the work begun this past year.
Many of this past year’s subawardees from other RMLs have reflected on how their projects changed and grew through library closures. If you have creatively adapted to COVID-19 related closures or challenges, please let us know!