UW–Madison Libraries Services during COVID–19

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Celebrating National Library Week has New Meaning this Year

April 22, 2020

~by Lisa Carter, Vice Provost for Libraries

April 19-25 2020 is National Library Week, and as we celebrate at this unique point in time, it’s important to highlight the role libraries play in our communities. Even while our physical spaces are closed, libraries are connected to their communities–providing resources, services, and materials. 

During this challenging period of remote learning, revised research plans, and social distancing, the UW-Madison Libraries are still a catalyst for the teaching, learning, and research happening at our institution. Here are a few ways our Libraries are enabling the continuation of instruction and research during this unusual time:  

Supplying laptops: Over 188 laptops have been checked out from the Memorial Library pick-up point, enabling students and faculty to continue their work while following social distancing guidelines.  

Digitizing for instruction and research continuation

  • College Library Reserves: Digitized 85 items for reserves, estimated 2,000 pages
  • Document Delivery requests filled: 559, estimated 37,000 pages scanned
  • Lending digitization requests filled: 2,879, estimated 23,000 pages of UW-Madison materials scanned for other universities
  • Borrowing requests filled: 4,031 (items digitized from other institutions’ collections and delivered to the UW-Madison community via UW-Madison Libraries staff)

Ask a LibrarianThe Libraries expanded the Ask A Librarian service following spring break, providing assistance through more than 960 chat and text sessions since March 20th. 

Special Information for our community: The Libraries developed web pages specifically to assist our campus community with the necessary transition during this time.  

  • 17,211 visits to our COVID dashboard + all other COVID pages visits

HathiTrust: Our investment in digitizing our book collections years ago paid off when HathiTrust made additional digital copies of items in our collection available online, including copyright-protected materials. This Emergency Temporary Access Service provides authenticated UW-Madison students, faculty, and staff members access while the circulation of physical materials remains halted. 

Archives COVID Project: The University Archives Documenting COVID-19 Project has already received more than 43 submissions through their online form and 150 digital files uploaded to document the UW-Madison community’s experiences during this pandemic. 

Teaching and Learning help with Instruction Continuity: Our teaching and learning team transitioned 180+ courses for post-spring break instruction. They planned course-related research assignment support and ensured general education information literacy instruction requirements were met. Our team has already begun preparations for the online summer term. 

The Libraries are always dedicated to sharing our expertise and providing resources that advance our campus partners’ scholarship, even in alternative ways during this challenging time. If you’ve received help from one of our amazing staff, I encourage you to share that appreciation as we celebrate libraries this week!