Remote Digital Library Work Discussion Notes 04/30/2020

  • What are your libraries plans for reopening?
    • FIU has been extended work at home until May 30.
    • FAU is remote indefinitely, currently; focused on propositions to clean the libraries and self-checkout.
    • FAMU tentatively scheduled to go back to campus May 15, all summer sessions will be online; only essential employees after May 15, may go back to rotating a few people on campus at a time.
    • FGCU those who want to can start working on site on Monday, May 4, but folks who prefer to work remotely can do so; library is still closed.
    • UM is also remote indefinitely
  • State of Florida CARES Act Funds
  • What has changed for you since you started working remotely?  How has it changed from a month ago?  (Are you doing the same type of projects that you were initially? Have you found new ways of communicating with your coworkers or your users?)
    • Been difficult to not have access to equipment and collections; all new digitization projects on hold. Working on metadata cleanup and architecture for new Scholarly Exchange.
    • The things that I thought I would be productive on aren’t the things that I have been productive on. Remote work is more reactionary, less planned-ahead.
    • Work-life balance continues to be a challenge.  Sometimes you work longer hours at home than you do at work!
    • Managing part-time employees (OPS workers) is challenging, have had to switch them over to working on digital library work.  Adding additional duties to help train new people from afar, writing documentation, monitorng that work.
    • It’s strange not seeing the other people around you working. Missing that feeling of connection.
    • Information overload – for some people, working remotely means feeling like you’re getting less information (especially when information sharing was already challenging in your institution); for some, it feels like there is more information and it’s more overwhelming
    • When we do return to campus, all of our meetings will still be via Zoom to maintain social distancing.
    • How are you communicating with coworkers?
      • Standing weekly meetings via Zoom
      • Trying to be respectful of people who have children or grandchildren at home
      • Difference between talking with someone vs talking to someone
    • Are you planning on some kind of post-mortem after this is all done?
      • Planning a survey for students and faculty about how this
      • PLAN is doing a virtual meetup on May 5 for folks to discuss and share information
    • Some libraries have proposed the idea of, once a semester, having everyone work remotely for two days to stay prepared and be ready if this has to happen again.
      • Something like this might happen again, be our “new normal”.  Incorporate this kind of experience as part of disaster planning.
      • Plan for potential projects for future remote work (such as transcription).  Those kind of projects require planning and preparation – it was difficult to throw together at the last minute.  Can show to administration what we will be working on. 
      • It would be great to plan for multi-institutional/cross-institutional projects, as well.
    • Different types of disaster experience/disaster response – different experience than when there are wet books to save, etc.
  • SSDN announcements

Registration link for future discussions:

Next discussion is scheduled for Thursday, May 14 at 1pm ET.

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