Statement of IUB Libraries Teaching and Learning for Spring 2021

Due to concerns for the health and safety of the IU community, the IUB Libraries will conduct instruction online through the Spring 2021 semester. We are actively working to prepare to teach to the best of our abilities in this format through internal development led by the Libraries’ Department of Teaching and Learning as well as professional organizations like Association of College and Research Libraries and Society of American Archivists. This teaching may take the form of synchronous or asynchronous Zoom sessions, research guides, video tutorials, Canvas modules, or other online learning objects depending on the context and needs of the course. We ask for your patience and understanding as we work to provide you with an impactful learning experience, regardless of the format.

Creating online teaching materials takes time. The affordances of learning are different in online and physical spaces. Here are some things that you should take into account when requesting library instruction:

  • We may require more advanced notice than previously in order to create or access materials for your course.
  • We may offer suggestions of alternate materials when it is impossible to access certain items.
  • While some of our physical materials are digitized, and we are working to digitize others to meet our community needs, we are unlikely to be able to digitize materials on demand.
  • We may make suggestions for alternate ways of interacting with your students from what you have done before, such as providing some asynchronous learning modules paired with an open “office hour” where students with questions can interact with a librarian synchronously.
  • We might suggest combining instruction sessions that traditionally were held separately at multiple repositories. This is intended to support repositories who may not have enough digitized content to support a full session and to conserve staff time.
  • These new approaches may or may not fill the amount of class time that you have expected previously.

While we are anticipating having longer virtual service hours in the spring, the aspect of the library as a space will be restricted due to IU’s continuing commitment to keep the community as safe as possible and to discourage group gathering. We anticipate that a significant portion of librarians and staff will still be supporting students and faculty from home in order to reduce campus population density. Many spaces in the library that might make for intriguing class trip destinations such as the Archives, the Lilly Reading Room, the Maps collection, or the Moving Image Archive will either continue to be closed or be open by appointment only for individuals. In the instance that a class trip is critical to your course goals, Teaching and Learning would be happy to talk about how we might meet those goals in alternative ways (creating online exhibits, doing a “show and tell” through Zoom, having a librarian talk on Zoom about what students can access from the comfort of their own rooms, etc.) that don’t involve bringing groups physically into the library.

Though our methods may have changed we, like you, are still reaching for the same learning objectives as before. We appreciate your partnership as we adjust our approach to meet this new challenge.