Meeting Date: November, 5, 2020
Presenter: Mary Chipanshi
Article: Yuvaraj, M. (2020). Global responses of health science librarians to the COVID‐19 (Corona virus) pandemic: A desktop analysis. Health Information and Libraries Journal, Health information and libraries journal, 2020-07-09. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/hir.12321
1) Are the study objectives relevant?
- Yes, it’s relevant to know how libraries are responding to crisis to see where our services can be improved. In order to build studies around what’s working and what isn’t you have to know what people are doing first.
- We had to think about expanding our services, finding ways to do document deliveries
- All services were focused on COVID, requests in other areas dropped
- Article was very relevant
- Priorities changed to COVID, regular programming wasn’t as much of a priority
- Collaboration among other public health libraries
- After March everybody scrambled, it became a different normal
Does the study add anything new?
- It helps identify launching off points for research on library services: what’s working/not working, what can be added, is this a service that can be adapted?
Was the desktop analysis approach the best method for this study?
- For the purposes of finding out what people are doing without having to create a survey, yes.
- This is pandemic and you’re trying to pull resources for a novel virus trying to get as much information as possible to people who need it for known clients and unknown clients
- Trying to make things as accessible as possible
- It would very difficult to reach professionals with a more traditional research method
- Wish we knew more about what “desktop method means”
- Add maybe a second level of review, have a peer review the table
- Had to look up what desktop research was
- Seems more like a research method for an undergraduate research paper
- Flesh it out and tell us their research or search methods
- Methodology section could use a lot of work, especially in clarifying what the method it used is, its purpose, etc.
- International library associations were included (what were the criteria used?)
- Confusion over association and website inclusion, they are very different, serve different people
Does the author acknowledge limitations in the article? If not do you see any limitations?
- Language would be a barrier/limitation to assessing the efforts of library organizations/associations
- Noticed that they only looked at associations that for sure have English as their main language/only language which is interesting considering where the author is from has over 20 languages
- UK is represented, US is represented, Australia is represented
- Where is Africa?
- Where is India? (where author is from)
- Library associations in Africa
- Didn’t find anything that was COVID for them when I looked it up, they were drawing from other places
- Author should’ve looked in more places, added limitations so that we aren’t asking these questions
Is the development of posters a good idea? Has your library developed any posters?
- I put up the one that our organization distributed at the beginning about safety protocols (e.g. 2 meters apart, covering sneezes) but we’ve been closed since then
- Posters are handled by communications department, library wouldn’t make the poster
- Were told library services are going to take a backseat, but the library was still a guiding hand for searches
- Librarian helped the communications team
- Needs to be a central message
- Most librarians have been home since March
- Universal masking posters, symptom monitoring, around the library but not produced by it
How have you been providing resources to your users?
- Mostly online, some book pickup
- Blocked access to public computers for safety
- At first, nobody could have access to the materials, started getting students complaining about lack of access to the library collection of textbooks
- The text books can’t be digitized and could not provide them online
- Started curbside pickup, within Canada but couldn’t send them out of country
- Made book lockers available for pickup
- Online access to books that you have in your collection, some of their books are available through the hi-T trust,
- One problem, can’t hand out print copy when it’s in the online trust
- Print collection was a problem, the librarians aren’t physically there to check out the books
- Trying to find things freely available online
- Most users want articles, not physical books
- For ILL requests, they are faxed to the user
- If you work in the building, user can go pick it up
- No one is allowed to go into the stacks
Has your library developed any resources or have you linked to any COVID-19 resources for your users?
- When COVID started, pulled together a resource page, links to resources, live search. Synopses of articles, links to publishers that are making article open access for COVID articles
- Quicklinks to other national/provincial public health websites and other international public health sites: CDC, WHO
- Dashboards (Johns Hopkins), vaccine tracker
- Librarians email each other to update the page
- Thinking of making a lib guide but we don’t have the time
- Huge amount of collaboration and peer review for searches and search strategies
Do you think that in the process of expanding the librarian’s role in response to the COVID-19 crisis the users are lost?
- Lost patient/family users, they couldn’t safely access our in-person resources and we don’t have a lot of online resources for the public
- Requests were way down, thought “was it something we did?”
- After the first wave, there was an increase in the use in preparation for the second wave
- Not at the usual level, but maybe it’s coming back
Have libraries acquired new users?
- Our library has definitely acquired new users, but they are people who could have used our services before so there is a question of “why weren’t they?” and “how can we make sure they continue to use our services after the pandemic ends?”
- Gained student users, they don’t have to be physically in Canada anymore to be a student but they can still access or request access to our resources
- Reaching out to potential users
- Reviewing regular programs and taking care of COVID at the same time
- Wondering if word of mouth for the library was passed around in online communications
Are there any other comments/additions that you would like to share from the article?
- Very much like the desktop method for inexpensive research
- Another inexpensive method, document analysis, basing your research on documents you were able to pull from the resource you use