Library Director Gretchen Arnold, MLS
This article was written by Gretchen Arnold, and edited by Kimberley R. Barker.
Like its peer institutions, the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library has been coping with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most far-reaching decisions was to move the Library into Tier Three of our service model, which happened on Thursday, March 19, 2020.
This meant many changes with accompanying challenges, chief among them the fact that the Library was physically closed and all staff began working remotely. Decisions about how to continue to provide services were made thoughtfully, but quickly, and communicated to the Health System via a combination of email, social media posts, the Library homepage, and its blog, "Moore Library News". In order to provide UVA Health with meeting space (which is a regular part of our operation) despite the fact that all staff were working remotely, all were directed to use the 24 Hours entrance, which requires a Health System identification badge.
Fortunately, Library staff members were up to the challenge and swiftly transitioned services to a completely remote model. It was an “all hands on deck” experience, and the transition was almost seamless. It took every ounce of our collective creativity and attention to detail to make this transition work as well as it did. Classes, workshops, consultations, clinical support, chat questions, video processing, Library data collection, patron data support, Interlibrary Loan, online searches- all continued without missing a beat. New services and groups were created to serve the unique needs created by the pandemic, including a in-house Pandemic Planning Task Force; two short-term, weekly video series; a study on the pandemic's impact on services from health sciences libraries; and a project aimed at archiving University and community related to the pandemic. I applaud the entire Library staff for the diligence and dedication of its response.