DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > National Library Week 2020

DePaul celebrates National Library Week

Library staff
DePaul University Library staff have worked to support the campus community as faculty, staff and students sifted to instructing, working and learning remotely amid COVID-19. (Image courtesy of Krystal Lewis)

National Library Week kicked off yesterday, April 19. Though this year's theme, “Find your place at the library," was chosen well before the COVID-19 outbreak, libraries across the country, including DePaul's own, are still accessible online, providing virtual services and digital content. Since the university moved to remote instruction for the spring quarter, library staff have adapted, innovated and communicated their support to the university during COVID-19.

The course reserves team, for example, placed 5,820 ebooks, chapters, articles, websites and digitized films on electronic reserve for the spring quarter, allowing students to quickly access readings and videos online. This effort also reduced the cost of purchasing textbooks and other materials. The library waived overdue fees and fines, as well as removing holds on student accounts.

Collection development staff have implemented additional online resources, as more courses than ever are being taught remotely. In addition to providing access to existing ebook collections, article databases and open education resources, the library has obtained enhanced access to HathiTrust e-books. Staff also implemented quarter-long trial access to additional databases.

Since the beginning of April, library staff have answered nearly 850 “Ask-a-Librarian" requests for resource assistance. Liaison librarians work regularly with faculty from their respective departments. Library staff also created a COVID-19 guide on how the university is adapting and responding to the pandemic and other research about the coronavirus.  

Though the libraries and collections are physically closed, Special Collections and Archives staff continue to design and deliver custom instructions sessions for faculty who integrate primary sources into their curriculum. The team also has created a COVID-19 documentation project, which offers the DePaul community an opportunity to record and share their personal experiences to help future generations understand this moment in history.

“Our library staff has done an amazing job adapting and supporting faculty and students during this time," says Rob Karpinski, associate vice president for Academic and Library Affairs. “We look forward to taking time to celebrate our staff and their efforts during National Libraries Week."

In years past, DePaul University Libraries would host in-person events to celebrate National Libraries Week. While this year may look a bit different, this week is still an opportunity to recognize library staff and administrators, as well as the access to information and resources libraries provide.

One area the libraries will highlight this year is DePaul's resources beyond those used for research and study. From video games to films to the Maker Hub, the DePaul University Libraries are a place for everyone, even those with non-academic interests.

“This idea came from members of our EDGE team," says Krystal Lewis, the information commons and student engagement librarian. “On our blog throughout the week, we'll feature resources for streaming films, recreational ebooks and image collections available to everyone, as well as a virtual jigsaw puzzle and Zoom backgrounds of our library spaces. Though we can't be together this year, we look forward to celebrating virtually with the DePaul community ."

Learn more about National Library Week on the Library's blog, Full Text.