“The ideal electronic library is not a single entity where everything is stored, it is a range of services and collections made accessible through networks that reach beyond individual campus or research laboratories.” (Kibbey and Evans, 1989, p. 16)
More than 1.5 billion students and teachers across the world – 1700+ of them here at Wheaton – are adjusting to emergency remote learning and teaching in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wallace Library staff are central to this adjustment, part of a profession that’s been providing online services and collections for more than 30 years.
At this point in the semester, the Wallace Library usually buzzes with students and faculty driven by a variety of needs – access to a study space or software, research materials or support, printing, for group or class meetings. Obviously, this year is different. Our iconic building sits quiet, but the library is very much open for business.
Connecting with our collections
The library is well-positioned to provide access to its collections remotely. You might equate the library with its stacks and stacks of books and periodicals, but most of our collection – ebooks, videos, articles from journals, newspapers, magazines, trade journals – actually exists electronically in databases that are readily available to you from home. If you’re not sure how to get started with these resources, research guidance is available in our subject guides.
Though the doors to the Gebbie Archives and DigiLab are closed, the Archives and Digital Initiatives department also has a wealth of collections that can be accessed remotely. If you are in search of institutional images—from hi-res photos of seashell specimens to photos from Head of the Peacock— check out our Public Collections on Artstor; research institutional history in our Archives catalog; and find institutional scholarship in the Wheaton College Digital Repository. Be in touch with Mark Armstrong, Kate Boylan, or Thomas San Filippo (see below for contact info) for research help in accessing other (digital) archival collections, and creating and using digital content for classes and assignments.
Connecting with our people
With the end of the semester approaching, we know that many of you are working on and assigning research projects and papers. Our staff is available remotely to:
- Answer questions about our collections and archival and special collections,
- Help with research assignments through chat, email (see below), or an appointment,
- Teach classes or create learning objects on research topics,
- Adapt learning goals or set up a gradebook in onCourse,
- Provide guidance for accessing on-campus software, or
- Assist with a variety of technologies for teaching and learning.
If you’re looking for a quick answer, try our new chat service between 8:30AM and 4:30PM during the week to connect directly with a librarian.
We hope you will visit our Library Services for Spring 2020 page to discover the full breadth of our remote services. Guidance for faculty adapting to a remote educational environment is also provided from the library and the Center for Collaborative Teaching and Learning (CCTL) .
Research & Instruction Liaisons, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Archives & Digital Initiatives, Kate Boylan, email@example.com
Kibbey, Mark, and Nancy H. Evans. 1989. “The network is the library.” EDUCOM Review 24, 3 (Fall): 15-20.