At the beginning of the global pandemic and with the onset of the first UK lockdown, Springshare products became core to our effective transition to fully online services. The rapid uptake of online enquiries and live chat through LibAnswers kept our communities of students connected and engaged in their learning. The introduction of LibCal seats enabled us to provide Covid-safe study environments and be one of the first academic libraries to reopen in the country. The value of LibAnswers and LibCal was widely recognised by others across the University and led to an institution-wide project to roll out of LibCal events calendars and appointments. During this academic year over 800 faculty staff have become users, managing academic appointments and online classes. Use has extended beyond the class, including managing asymptomatic covid testing appointments, bookings for delivery of Christmas dinners to students on campus and a wide range of social activities that have kept our campus alive. In addition to integrations with Microsoft Teams, we have used APIs to integrate bookings with student timetables and our campus Mazemap. Meanwhile, LibGuides has been extended to cover decolonisation activity, Author events and community projects as part of our equality and diversity programme and LibChat has been extended to provide registry, IT, employment and student support services. In this presentation we'll share our journey and successes over the past year, as well as our ambitions for the future.
Phil Cheeseman is Assistant Director for Academic Services in the Library at Lancaster University. The Faculty Librarian and Learning Development teams fall within his area of responsibility, as well as Special Collections and Archives. Phil has interests in strategic planning, space design and use of technology in libraries, and has taken the lead in rolling out Library and institutional use of LibCal and LibAnswers. Phil is the staff development lead for Academic Libraries North and leads the Relationship Management in HE Libraries group in the UK.
Stephen Robinson, the Digital Developer (Projects and Operations) at Lancaster University. Stephen manages a range of library systems at Lancaster University including the ExLibris and Springshare suite of products and is always looking for ways to improve their use across the institution. An experienced software engineer Stephen has built out custom solutions integrating these products with core university systems. Stephen is also a regular speaker on the use of technology and innovation within Higher Education, specifically within the library sector.
Library Type: University
Demographic Served: Students and faculty at UK and International campuses
Population Size: 16,600
Library Staff Size: 70
Plan for Fall 2020: In-person and virtual provision for Fall 2021