Reopening Libraries: A Dialogue on Supporting Staff and Users



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Keep your staff and users safe while meeting their most important needs.



As fall approaches, your academic library operations are drastically changing in response to COVID-19 guidelines. You likely feel a rising tension between supporting your staff as they shift in their roles and supporting your users as their experience is entirely transformed. Both groups will need intensive guidance and care as they adjust to restricted ways of working and studying. One core question guiding your future planning is: “How can we operate to meet our users’ most important goals while keeping our staff and users safe?”

Join us for a virtual training and dialogue that will offer emerging solutions for ensuring safety measures are met at your libraries. Our panel of expert presenters will share their challenges, successes, and ideas, and you will engage with other leaders across the academic library landscape to brainstorm solutions for your library’s unique context.


Who Should Attend

This virtual event is designed for deans, directors, and other senior library faculty and staff who are looking for a forum to discuss solutions to the complex issues surrounding reopening library operations with their peers.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


August 6, 2020

11:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time


Opening and Introductions

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.



Part 1: Supporting Your Staff

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
In the first section of the training, we will engage in discussions around the following questions:

  • How do you set expectations for an evolving library experience and create a culture of compliance through messaging and safety ambassadors?
  • What type of de-escalation and customer service training can best support your staff? How can you allay their fears?
  • How do you manage student workers and at-risk staff? How can you keep them engaged in meaningful work?
  • How are responsibilities changing for staff? What do you need to do to set them up for success?




12:45 – 1:00 p.m.



Part 2: Supporting Your Users

1:00 – 2:15 p.m.
In the second part of this training, we will discuss the following questions:

  • What are the most important goals for users who choose to visit the physical library?
  • How can you minimize users in the library by making online services easily accessible and easy to use?
  • How do you facilitate collaboration and connection through distance?
  • In what ways can you collect data to continue to improve the user experience while keeping everyone safe?



Final Q&A and Evaluations

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.


Headshot of Deirdre Childs

Deirdre Childs

Access Services Manager, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Deirdre’s career path in Access Services began as a student worker at Temple University. She learned and developed as staff before moving into leadership roles. She received her M.S. in Library Science from Drexel University and is currently the Access Services Manager at West Chester University Libraries..

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portrait of Kristin Meyer

Kristin Meyer

User Experience Librarian, Grand Valley State University

In her current role, Kristin focuses on understanding and improving the student experience of the Mary Idema Pew Library Learning and Information Commons. This state-of-the-art facility opened in 2013 and has been described as a model of twenty-first century learning.

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Portrait of Amy Ward

Amy Ward

Associate Dean of Libraries, West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Originally, Amy thought she was going to be a Music Librarian, having received her MLS from the University at Buffalo, SUNY; however, she discovered she liked managing and changed her professional trajectory to focus on leadership in libraries.

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