With the majority of students and staff being advised to work and study from home, this is how our librarians are supporting online learning…
Sarah Shaughnessy, librarian from the Bibliothèque Saint-Jean (BSJ) mostly enjoys working at home, although her computer’s camera gives her a constant reminder that her home office needs painting, cleaning and repairs. “My BSJ colleagues say this giant drywall patch looks like a cloud. I’ve thought about putting a picture up, but it’s a really weird place in the room for a picture, so I am just living with it.” With a toddler in the house, time for home renovations has been limited.
Another complaint about working from home is that all of her work is “screen-time,” when formerly there were in person social opportunities to break up the day. She misses the face-to-face connection, but delivering consultations and teaching materials online has been a positive challenge. She enjoys thinking about how to approach teaching in an online environment, because it presents a lot of new opportunities. She recommends the Center for Teaching and Learning’s web page, which has some great information to guide teaching staff.
This summer, BSJ staff are taking on the French translation of all sixteen foundational tutorial videos, produced by the library last year, and hope to complete them in time for the fall. Sarah is also working with a team at CSJ to prepare orientation materials for incoming students, as this year’s orientation will be entirely online.
A big struggle that she has heard from students and faculty about has been the lack of access to the print collection in the first few months of Covid-19. Although the curbside pick-up service now facilitates this, the library’s online collection is still going to be really important in the coming year. Sarah is very excited to share that the library has extended its subscription to the full CAIRN ebook collection (Bouquet Général). “Although we had access to ebooks in CAIRN, formerly we subscribed only to the Humanities collection, which gives access to about 2,000 ebooks. There are about 11,000 ebooks in the general collection, so that means about a 450% increase in access to French-language ebooks.”