Rising to the Occasion
by Dick Kaser
This issue was in production during late spring 2020. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the articles published here were written by librarians working from home. A photo in one of the features shows the bright display on a checkout station in the otherwise dark and deserted Salina Public Library, closed to the public at that time.
In the associated article, Kirstien Kroeger (a tech support assistant and library grad student) discusses how she coded her way to a solution for incorporating signage into patron digital touchpoints, including self-checkout kiosks. Undaunted by current circumstances, Kroeger also discusses how the system she designed might serve the library as social distancing measures continue.
Given how vital effective messaging has been during this crisis, Linda Hofschire (Colorado State Library) shares practical tips for charting, illustrating, and reporting your progress now and when your facilities open back up.
As his library in the Midwest moved toward closure in March, Tom Adamich (Monroe Community College) reports on what he had to do to rapidly address a weak link in the tech infrastructure that would have inhibited library staff from working remotely. And columnist Terence Huwe, drawing from his experience at the University of California–Berkeley, discusses how prioritizing educational resilience as a strategic imperative can minimize the impact of such crises in the future.
With schools and university facilities closed, learning during the spring shifted online. Those who already supported distance education held the advantage. In her EDTECH article, Lorette Weldon details how school librarians can help this fall by building online digital resource collections aligned with specific student group or independent assignments.
Clearly, digital collections and online access have never been more important. This issue also includes a report by a team of law librarians, who migrated and reclassified a huge number of photos housed in myriad formats by writing a few simple scripts.
Libraries have always been can-do enterprises. During these unprecedented times, librarians have proven they can also make do.
Dick Kaser, Executive Editor