IARLA convened an international symposium on 3 June 2020, which explored the plans that research libraries are putting in place to reopen their physical library buildings and reinstate their onsite services in the post-, or continuing-, Covid-19 landscape. The symposium included presentations from speakers in the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Australia, who shared the plans and preparations that they are putting in place for the reopening of their libraries, how these relate to their wider institutional context, and how they correspond with their national and regional experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The symposium was introduced by Robin Green, University Librarian, University of Warwick, and Chair of Research Libraries UK

Presentations were given by:

  • Lauren Pressley, Associate Dean for Research & Learning Services, University of Washington
  • Vivian Lewis, University Librarian, McMaster University
  • Helen Shenton, Librarian and College Archivist, Trinity College Dublin
  • Jessica Gardner, University Librarian and Director of Library Services, University of Cambridge
  • Chris Banks, Assistant Provost (Space) and Director of Library Services, Imperial College London
  • Jill Benn, University Librarian, University of Western Australia
  • Lorraine Haricombe, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries, University of Texas

The symposium also included a mentimeter survey of delegates to enable them to share their plans and preparations for reopening and the recovery of their services.

IARLA would like to thank all of our speakers and those who attended for sharing their thoughts and experiences.

The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented changes in the operations of the world’s research libraries and to those of their parent institutions. IARLA asked delegates to complete a short survey regarding plans to reopen libraries, the necessary preparations around reopening, and their ongoing experiences. The results of this survey can be found below (use your keyboard arrow keys to move to the next slide).

Presentation slides