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UB Libraries and COVID-19: Our Response

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

In times of great change and ambiguity, it can be difficult to know where to turn for accurate, reliable and up-to-date information. As we continue to navigate the uncharted waters caused by the COVID-19 virus and global pandemic, please know that the University at Buffalo Libraries are here to help you.

When the world was encouraged to stay home to flatten the curve, our Libraries never stopped. After assessing the situation and discussing its impact on the university community, our staff worked tirelessly to find creative solutions so that UB students could continue their academic work, our faculty could effectively teach their classes, and what research that could be done, was still supported and we did so using a range of digital tools.

We responded by assisting with access to research materials, by quickly helping our faculty learn new technologies, and by offering alternatives for delivering information resources and teaching students. Thanks to the expertise, energy and enthusiasm of our Libraries’ staff, we have made it our mission to provide continuity in support of the University’s academic mission.

Although we don’t yet know what the fall semester will look like, I am confident that we are ready to meet the challenges that will confront us in the weeks and months to come.

Listed below are just a few of the many ways in which our librarians and professional staff are responding to the COVID-19 global pandemic:

  • Creating and revising our wide range of research guides to help students and faculty access resources remotely.
  • Offering a virtual welcome to UB’s new and transfer students, and developing an online guide for stress relief during exams. (Note: the guide is a helpful tool for anyone coping with stress)
  • Assisting UB faculty interested in learning how to best utilize the video recording rooms in Silverman Library in order to record classes and podcasts.
  • Providing expertise in identifying and using Open Educational Resources (OERs) so that UB faculty can tailor their course content to meet the needs of their students.
  • Scheduling virtual workshops on topics ranging from building a digital portfolio to learning the basics of EndNote.
  • Getting the word out about our Delivery+ service which quickly and efficiently delivers journal articles and book chapters to individual UB faculty and student accounts.
  • Waiving overdue fines on library materials and granting perpetual renewal on items borrowed prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Volunteering to staff our “Ask a Librarian” virtual chat service which is available 24/7.

Perhaps most importantly, our staff ensured that the entire UB community experienced a seamless transition to virtual learning during a spring semester like no other.

We the people of the University Libraries, are prepared to meet the challenges that await and the continuity of our mission remains unchanged.

Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, Vice Provost for University Libraries