Changed, Changed Utterly appears in Inside HigherED and offers Christopher Cox’s, (Dean of the Clemson Library) predictions of “the significant ways academic libraries will shift in terms of collections, services, spaces and operations as a result of the pandemic.”
“In early March 2020, COVID-19 blindsided academic libraries. With little time to plan, we closed our library facilities at Clemson University to protect the safety of our patrons and employees and moved to online services only and work from home. Thankfully, years of curating digital content, providing multiple opportunities for research interaction and developing robust search interfaces and web presences served us well during this transition.
With discussions now occurring about reopening campuses, academic libraries face a paradigm shift. Instead of returning to normal, librarians will be returning to a “new normal” — one where in-person classes and service interactions may be impossible or no longer preferred, where collections in physical format may be a barrier to access, and where collaborative study is shunned in favor of social distancing in buildings that can only safely house half the people they used to. How can we leverage this crisis to create new and innovative collections and services to improve our campus communities?
Below are some of my predictions, based on trend analysis, of how the landscape of academic libraries may change in terms of collections, services, spaces and operations, in hopes they inspire new thinking and continued dialogue…”