Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Responses to #COVID19 : Librarians in lockdown in Scotland; the state of American libraries

Two new reports with insights into the response of libraries to the pandemic. Firstly, Peter Reid & Lyndsay Bloice (Robert Gordon University) undertook research supported by the Scottish Library & Information Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, now published as Libraries in Lockdown. Through analysis of social media and web based content and interviews with librarians they examine "Scottish Public Libraries and their response to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 and in particular the way in which they have, through their digital offering, helped to support community resilience and cohesion. The research also explores the issues that library services have had to contend with during lockdown." It is a 100 page report that finishes with reflections and recommendations. Go to https://librariesinlockdown.weebly.com/
Secondly the State of America's Libraries 2021 Special Report: COVID-19 has been published by the American Library Association. The ALA produces a "state of the libraries" report every year, and it's always interesting to see their perspective on trends and developments. This time they "find 2020 was a year when library professionals answered the call to serve amid multiple emergencies and a year when library workers again proved to be essential 'first restorers' or 'second responders.' " The final section in the report is about librarians fighting disinformation "Throughout 2020, librarians responded to misinformation about vaccines, the census, and the November election, as well as the demonization of the mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news,” by creating resources to fight disinformation." It also talks about issues such as internet/broadband provision, supporting learning, dealing with banning of books. and dealing with inequalities. Go to http://www.ala.org/news/state-americas-libraries-report-2021
Photo by Sheila Webber: tulips, March 2021

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