Picture of Micquel Little
Micquel Little
Micquel is the Associate University Librarian for Research and Learning

Library Changes During COVID-19 Closure

On March 16, 2020, the library closed its doors as San Francisco began to shelter-in-place. As of this writing, we’re approaching our 200th business day of closure, and we’d like to share some of the ways we have adjusted our staffing and services to support the UCSF community under changing conditions. As always, stay home if possible, stay safe, and check UCSF’s coronavirus website for updates.

As our staff transitioned to working remotely, the library facilities transformed into a printing farm that would support PPE shortages through the 3D Printed Face Shield Project. This initial project continued through mid-summer when the library facilities transitioned to focus on providing quiet study space for UCSF students to access reliable internet.

Teaching and learning continuity

We also worked to quickly provide additional online resources for faculty, staff, and students, such as electronically available books, journals, and other resources. Highlights of collections made available across the UCs during the pandemic include the Emergency Temporary Access Service provided by HathiTrust and ebook copies of the most frequently needed manuals for healthcare provider re-certification.

Highlights of our COVID-19 service response

Librarians and staff continued to share their expertise this year by providing over 375 trainings and events and responding to over 3,600 inquiries for research support, many via Zoom consultations.

  • Faculty support for online teaching with our team of instructional designers and multi-media specialists. This includes virtual one-on-one consultations, drop-in hours, and the ability to borrow take home teaching kits for faculty to create content from their own remote office.
  • Education and Research support from our librarian experts on discovering resources and services to find and manage the information needed for education, research, and clinical care.
  • Archives and Special Collections research and teaching support of the health sciences and medical humanities through the preservation of the institutional memory of UCSF. Remote reference services and Digitization on Demand remain available virtually.
  • Makers Lab pop-ups and project support transitioned to Zoom while the physical space and equipment of the Makers Lab supported the 3D Printed Face Shield Project. Makers Lab pop-ups are also available on-demand. We are looking to expand services to curbside pickup in early 2021.
  • Data Science Initiative continues to build computational and data skills in the UCSF community by providing education and resources to trainees, faculty, and staff via Zoom and through additional materials available online for self-study.
  • Scholarly Communication continues to help UCSF scholars navigate the changing landscapes of scholarly publishing, open access, and research output metrics. Our scholarly communication librarian continues to offer workshops on Open Science, support open publishing through the OA Fund, and most recently celebrated Open Access Week this past October.
  • Student IT support remains available remotely as well! Our specialists provide one-on-one tech support for students’ personally owned devices to help them comply with current UCSF requirements for IT Security.
  • Providing robust support for the Collaborative Learning Environment and keeping it always available to enable distance learning.

Most recently we have implemented services to expand access to our collection during the library’s closure through our new Curbside Pickup and Document Express options. Respectively, each allows for physical titles to be checked out and picked up at the Parnassus Heights campus and for article and book chapter PDFs to be delivered electronically.

The future

Looking forward to 2021, the library continues to iterate and innovate our services to meet the changing needs of our UCSF community. We have kicked off strategic planning to ensure our efforts are strongly in alignment with UCSF’s initiatives, as well as to integrate the efforts we began this year in taking action to address structural racism into our organization’s daily work, policies, procedures, and more.

We welcome your continued partnership and communication. Contact us with questions or feedback!