COVID-19 and Libraries: By The Numbers
Libraries are well acquainted with preserving, experiencing, and even making history. As the COVID-19 pandemic halted everyday life, libraries found themselves in a unique place in a historic moment.
The initial days filled with navigating how to manage wide-spread closures. Library staff were challenged to not only continue services but also expand them – quickly. While virtual access to library resources and services is hardly new, the magnitude of this situation is different. Libraries embraced leading roles, as institutions scrambled to ensure instruction continuity in the face of rapid transition.
At the UW-Madison, Libraries staff mobilized to expand the Ask a Librarian chat service, prepare and distribute laptops, fulfill increased requests for scanned materials, support remote instruction, and more. From collaborating with campus colleagues to working with partners across the country, Libraries’ staff met users’ critical needs during an extraordinary time.
Libraries are a place to find knowledge, community, and information. We support education, research, and engagement opportunities reaching far beyond the materials we hold. While nothing brings us joy more than seeing our libraries bustling with scholarly activity, being able to keep our users connected to the information they need at all times is our priority.
We look forward to welcoming faculty, students, and staff back to our Libraries. As always, we will continue to support their research, educational, and learning needs in all modalities. It is what we do.