Although 2020 has been a difficult year, here at the Library we embraced the challenges and endeavoured to continue delivering quality services to our students, academics and researchers. Our Library staff not only gained new skills while adapting to different processes and technologies, but also used this opportunity to improve how we support the Griffith community.
As this year draws to a close, we wanted to celebrate how we all worked together as part of Griffith to make the best of 2020.
Faced with the reality of our students, academics and researchers working and studying remotely, the Library needed to pivot to online learning, which meant moving all our workshops online for the first time.
In Trimester 2, our usual Earlybird workshops were held online, enabling students to join the workshops with a click of a link and interact directly with Library staff and the learning materials being presented. The success of the Earlybird workshops, and the increase in student and Library staff engagement, resulted in the Library offering extension workshops following Orientation Week to enhance students’ skills with the help of the Writing, Researching and Referencing module.
Students weren’t the only ones learning online: the Library’s online workshops for researchers blended seminar-style presentations with self-paced instruction. Surprisingly, despite delivering fewer sessions, attendance increased considerably due to the convenience of online delivery and lack of physical seating limitations. In an 8-month period, our online workshops for researchers attracted 2,195 attendees!
COVID-19 library re-opening
In March, the Library sadly had to close our physical library spaces and transition to supporting students and staff as we all worked from home. Returning to campus required additional flexibility in terms of COVID-19 precautions. With safety the priority, Library staff worked behind the scenes in preparation, with sneeze guards installed at our front desks, hand sanitizer stationed at entrances and desks, and a whopping 1,836 seats removed from library spaces to maintain social distancing standards. We also initiated a quarantine process for returned library items and lost property.
Successfully adapting to these many changes was satisfying, but the resounding highlight was welcoming the Griffith community back into our campus libraries.
Griffith Research Online
Griffith Research Online (GRO), Griffith’s research repository, achieved a major milestone this year with 20 million downloads! In addition, GRO was ranked number 4 and 5 across Australian repositories for its percentage of Green Open Access and Total Open Access content, respectively.
But GRO’s success this year extends even further: the Library‘s launch of Library Connect, in combination with the transition to working from home, sparked the opportunity for a new approach to sharing GRO content. The 20th Anniversary of the Institute for Glycomics was the ideal occasion to focus in on the stories and the researchers behind the research, with the resulting series of Q&A style posts highlighting the value of GRO from a different angle.
2020 may not be finished quite yet, but looking back at the Library’s achievements this year shows our dedication to making Griffith a safe place for learning, teaching and research, as well as our passion for continual improvement and innovation. Whatever the new year brings, our Library staff will be here to help.