No stopping librarians

Library resources evolve to meet student needs during pandemic

Due to COVID-19 guidelines, all of Walla Walla University’s libraries functioned differently than usual during fall quarter. Beginning in March 2020 the Peterson Memorial Library in College Place, the School of Nursing Library in Portland, and the libraries on the Montana campuses in Missoula and Billings, closed their doors to all in-person traffic with the goal of keeping students’ health a priority. While face-to-face visits were no longer available, the libraries’ faculty and staff worked diligently to continue providing WWU students with the resources and help they needed to succeed.

“Our work involves finding the best ways to connect with and provide information and services for each unique group in a continually changing environment. COVID-19 has not changed our goals, just our methods,” said Andra Winslow, public services and resource sharing manager.  

Prior to COVID-19, 75% of the library’s resources already had electronic options, however due to COVID-19 the libraries’ faculty and staff also made it possible for students to schedule a virtual visit with a librarian for reference and research consultations. 

However, some key changes still needed to be made. The libraries’ faculty and staff made it possible for students to organize virtual group study rooms via the library website and worked to provide students with options to order physical copies of books they needed, which students could either pick up outside the library or have delivered to their campus housing.

The Peterson Memorial Library is scheduled to reopen with limited student access on Jan. 25 but will remain closed to the public. The library main floor will be open by reservation with a limit of 10 students at a time. To access the library, students must show a valid WWU ID, their daily health pass, and a library reservation confirmation. Physical materials will continue to only be available through curbside pickup. The bookshelves remain closed for general browsing. Library hours are from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday. 

The School of Nursing Library has limited openings for studying. No in-person group studying is permitted, but students may study together using the virtual group study rooms found on the library website. Hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. 

To see the wide variety of resources available through WWU libraries visit wallawalla.edu/library

Posted Jan. 19, 2021

Photo of the front of Peterson Memorial Library on the WWU College Place Campus
The Peterson Memorial Library will open back up for limited access on Jan. 25, 2021.

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