The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Rapid Shift to an Exclusively Online Format: Tracking Online Instructors’ Utilization of Library Services Over a Year of Virtual Learning at the University of Memphis

Jessica McClure

Abstract

At the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester, academic institutions in the United States shifted rapidly to virtual instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This shift forced the libraries associated with these institutions to create innovative ways to reach faculty, staff, and students in an online mode. At the University of Memphis, librarians enhanced many existing online services and developed new ones. This study tracks the utilization of these services by online instructors during the span of one year since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The methods were mixed, involving a survey soliciting information from online instructors using both qualitative and quantitative methods and follow-up interviews conducted privately and virtually with teaching faculty and staff. This article presents the findings of this research and details the plans for further action at the University of Memphis to enhance and promote library services to online faculty. The plan involves increasing the level of online marketing, involvement with faculty training, and the enhancement of existing services, specifically embedded librarianship.

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