Reopening Libraries: A Dialogue on Supporting Staff and Users

Reopening Libraries: A Dialogue on Supporting Staff and Users

August 6, 2020 | Recording Available

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.


Limited Attendance

In order to ensure a high-quality learning experience, we have intentionally designed this Virtual Training to have a limited number of total attendees. To ensure access from both paying participants and also from those who have an All-Inclusive membership, when the membership cap is reached, only paying participants can register after that point (while spaces are still available). If you have questions about whether this program is right for you, please contact us.

The Academic Impressions Virtual Workshop Experience

There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to exploring responsive issues in higher education. Our virtual workshops 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. Depending on what you need to solve a specific challenge at your institution, you will have the chance to gain ideas, plans, refinements, or connections with those undergoing the same challenges as you. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • Learn from what your peers are doing across the nation
  • Gather unique and creative approaches that you may not have thought about
  • Validate and vet plans and priorities
  • Contribute your ideas and help shape the conversation
  • Get work done in a space that’s designed to help you reflect, be creative, and maintain focus on the issue
  • Connect with subject matter experts who steer the conversation and add value
  • Experience expert facilitation to ensure practical outcomes and takeaways

As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds nationally, it is so important to keep connecting and networking with your peers - at a “social distance” - and to keep learning and developing as higher-ed leaders and professionals. Don’t let social distancing and quarantines prevent you from setting aside time for professional development. Everything is changing so fast; more than ever, we need to be pooling our resources and knowledge and finding the best ways to develop our capacity, connect and share with each other, and move forward during a challenging time.

*A limited number of FREE member spots are open for each virtual training. Sign up today.


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.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

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.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

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.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.



$495 $0



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Questions About the Event?

Portrait of Whitney Egstad

Whitney Egstad
Program Manager, Academic Impressions

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*There are limited spots available for All-Inclusive Members to register for virtual trainings for free in 2020. Each virtual training has a registration cap in order to ensure a high-quality learning experience. If the cap has been met, All-Inclusive Members can register with a $250 discount if space is available.