This is the first in a series of blog posts showcasing how WHSLA members and their libraries responded to serving our users in creative ways during COVID-19.
Advocate Aurora Library was amid a departmental merger when COVID-19 hit in March 2020. This offered us an opportunity to increase our virtual and remote services both within and outside the library.
Here are some of the initiatives we implemented from March 2020-present. Many of these will likely continue, even after our library staff returns to work in-person later this year.
- Added an online chat service, staffed M-F from 9 am-3 pm, using a free chat tool
- Switched to internet phone numbers for main line and individual staff. Main line is not specific to any one physical library
- Orientations for new hospital employees using Microsoft Teams
- Responding to social issues by creating a Diversity and Inclusion collection with links to articles, e-books, and more
- Marketing the library to new leaders with direct emails
- Continuing to serve on committees and work groups virtually
- Held a book club with the goal of providing an opportunity for Advocate Aurora team members to connect with one another
All eight Advocate Aurora Library locations remain open to employees; library staff have been working remotely since March 2020. We expect to go back in June 2021.
- Badge readers added to enable library access for employees. All libraries now either accessible 24/7 via badge reader or Public Safety entry request
- Rearranged spaces and removed some equipment to ensure safe social distancing
- Put up “tear off” sheets with library contact information including our new, online phone number (Cisco Jabber), and email address
- Library staff visit 1-2 times per month to check in and shelve books, fill up copiers, etc.