Over the course of the past few weeks, we’ve all had to adapt to a rapid change in working circumstances. With our physical Library and Collections sites closed, the support we offer for our users has shifted firmly online. In previous blog posts we have looked at the realities of working and learning from home, and how we’ve introduced services such as the virtual enquiry desk to help our users remotely.
Looking further ahead, we are now planning as to how we can continue to offer some of the other training and support we regularly provide, but now in an online environment. As a Faculty Librarian, a large part of my role is user education and support. This can be support for 1-2-1 queries, and it can be delivering sessions to cohorts of students related to particular topics, disciplines or resources. As we are currently unable to see our users face-to-face – and it may be some time before classrooms/lecture theatres can be used to see groups en masse – it’s important to plan for alternative delivery methods.
With this is mind, we are planning to deliver some webinars in the coming weeks. Our initial focus is on promoting access to our trial e-resource. We currently have over 50 e-resources on trial, either as part of the regular trial cycle or as resources which are temporarily available during the Covid-19 crisis. This is approximately 5 times more that we might typically have on trial at any one time. The upcoming webinars will be designed to show users how to access the trials, showcase the range or resources on offer and then practically demonstrate a few of them. Users will also be encouraged to leave feedback about the resources they go on to take a look at, as this informs and future decisions about new resources we might want to take out a subscription to.
The plan is that these webinars will be the first of a range we can offer. Over the coming months, we can look to offer specific subject support in a similar manner, or look at a number of specific resources in the context of a particular topic or for a targeted cohort. Starting this work now will allow us to see what works and what doesn’t (and <whispers> allow us to make the odd mistake along the way!)
Information on how to access the webinars will be available on the Library and Collections homepage in the coming days. The first are scheduled for the 3rd and 5th of June. We will also be adding these webinars to our newly-constructed page related to online training. This page contains a range of upcoming online webinars which we believe may be of interest to some of our staff and student colleagues, including those offered both internally and externally to the university.