Adapting to COVID

Book pickup lockers

Curbside Pickup

Archer began offering curbside pick in the Fall 2020 semester, allowing patrons to make online requests for material through Quick Find. These requests were then processed by staff working on campus. The material was loaned out on patron accounts and made available for pick up at the Library greeter table.

Book Pickup Lockers

The Library introduced contactless book pickup lockers in the Winter 2021 semester. Patrons can request materials using Quick Find and pick them up from the lockers during regular campus hours. Patrons just scan their card at the kiosk and the locker door opens, allowing them to collect their items. The lockers minimize person-to-person contact through self-service and will continue to be used post-pandemic to allow pickup of materials outside normal library hours.

“I was able to pick up books through the book locker on a couple of occasions over the past several months, and have to say that it’s a really slick system. It’s made it easy to pick up books at times that worked for me. Super convenient - really appreciate that you have made this an option for us!”

– Dr. Tobias Sperlich, Associate Dean (Undergraduate), Faculty of Arts

Digitization Requests

Archer Library was one of only a handful of libraries in Canada to offer scanning services from the beginning of the pandemic. This service continued throughout the 2020-2021 academic year while the upper levels of the Library building were closed, and we fulfilled over 1500 requests which were allowed under fair dealing for education and research use.

HathiTrust Logo

Hathi Trust

In September 2020, Archer Library became a member of HathiTrust, a partnership of academic and research institutions focused on the preservation and improved access of print materials. Membership allowed the activation of HathiTrust’s Emergency Temporary Access Service (ETAS), which is available when situations such as the COVID-19 pandemic prevents traditional access to printed books. University of Regina students, faculty and staff had digital access to the approximately 30 per cent of the University Library’s books which are in HathiTrust’s digital library.

Online Fine Payment

To better serve the campus community remotely, Archer moved to an online fine payment system (Touchnet) in November 2020. Payment options include MasterCard or Visa.

“I was feeling overwhelmed having nobody to ask and read somewhere I can ask for assistance, your insight relieved some of the stress that was building up from frustration.”

- Doris

Online Reference Service

The challenge of communicating with Archer patrons after staff transitioned from working at the Help Desk to working from their home environment during COVID-19 operations was successfully met through several modes of communication.

  • Chat and text messaging allowed patrons to ask questions and have them answered by User Services staff in real time.
  • Patrons could submit questions via email and the library website and library staff would respond quickly.
  • If patrons required additional in-depth assistance with their reference inquiries, staff set up Zoom meetings with them. Any reference questions which required specialized assistance were forwarded to the appropriate subject liaison Librarian.

Our point of contact may have changed, but our ability to provide services requested by patrons remained unchanged.

Video Streaming

In order to support faculty and students in remote and distance learning environments, the Library introduced a new DVD conversion service in Fall 2020. Instructors who wanted to use a DVD as required viewing for class could ask for it to be converted to a digital copy accessible to students through the reading list service in URCourses, provided it was not commercially available in a streaming format.

“I would like to thank Lisa and Megan for all of the help and great work they did for my Film 380 and Film 480 courses this Fall, and on a short-ish note at that! And to wish you and yours a wonderful Holiday Season – healthy, peaceful, and prosperous!”

- Christina

Archives and RIM

Archival reference service successfully transitioned to remote delivery this year. On-site staff worked by distance with university and public researchers to refine requests so that items of interest could be digitized and made available online. In cases where the nature of the reference inquiries required physical access to records, on-site appointments were available for University faculty, staff and students.

In addition to moving client meetings online, the RIM team developed the first in a series of online training modules to help raise awareness about University recordkeeping requirements.

Online Instruction Video

User Services Staff wrote, designed, and produced three Explainer concept videos in response to a request from the Student Success Centre. Videos illustrate the concepts of the Information Cycle, Keywords and Citation with visual language continuity, animation and motion graphics. Target audiences are first-year students and students struggling with academics. Videos are asynchronous and can be utilized as flipped media for courses or in conjunction with library instruction.

“I am writing to you to pass on a compliment. I have been meeting with new Arts faculty to get a sense of what’s working more or less well for them in their first year. In such a meeting this morning, the member had particular praise for the library. He said that he had noticed and enormously benefited from all that library staff are doing to support researchers during the pandemic, including putting time into developing creative work-arounds for connecting researchers with materials that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to in the pandemic. He said he is constantly blown away by the support he receives from library personnel. Please pass on the compliment and Arts’ thanks to your team!”

Student with head down on desk in lecture theatre
U of R Archives: 85-78 Photograph 1