Every library is handling its response to the Covid-19 pandemic in very specific, custom ways. Taking into account their city's confirmed case numbers, new guidelines, and unique patron needs, is the only way to devise a strategy that makes sense for the library. Springshare decided the best way to tell these valuable stories is to let the librarians write them! We had the pleasure of working with The University of Sheffield's, Alison Morton, the Library Services Manager, who wrote this story. Their library is a Springshare Suite client and the team immediately dedicated themselves to figuring out the best ways to make sure they were still there for their students, faculty, and staff -- despite the closures. We're inspired by how nimble and resourceful they are and are so excited to highlight their experience for you.
The University of Sheffield’s Virtual Advisory and Help Service (VAHS) has transitioned seamlessly to remote working following Covid-19 and the closure of all university buildings. The ease of transition was in part due to the enquiry management platform, LibAnswers, and the suite of LibApps that support our Library service.
LibAnswers enabled user engagement via email, live chat, social media, and SMS text messaging. We also diverted the Library Help Phone to core team mobiles to ensure users could still engage via this route.
FAQs underpinned our key messages of support during the physical closure. It was business as usual and the FAQs were targeted to provide key messages via three main streams:
Data has shown that FAQ views have increased by over 100%, and the complexity of the virtual enquiries we receive has increased.
LibStaffer was used to manage rotas, adding VAHS shifts into individual calendars and allowing staff to use mediated swaps if the times allotted were inconvenient.
LibCal enabled subject librarians to schedule online appointments, it enabled our Library Learning and Teaching service to schedule webinars to support our students including the incredibly successful Dissertation Masterclass for our postgraduate students.
LibWizard has enabled us to create online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) sessions to support staff training during remote working.
The library is looking to embed FAQs and LibChat within an interactive, voice-activated Library Help Hub / Kiosk. This is still in development, but we hope it will be available for when our library sites reopen in a new format. We will be launching and promoting screen sharing within LibChat to offer individual Face to Face support. We are almost there!
Alison Morton and the University of Sheffield's motivated library team have carefully considered all of the patrons that use their library. We are so excited for their implementations and we're moved by their commitment to continue to serve despite the complications of closures. "We're here for you" is their primary message. They've put in so much work to make that statement true.