Head of Library Technology
Dean of Libraries
This project briefing proposes to detail how, near the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in February 2020, Clemson Libraries undertook a comprehensive planning process to prepare for a situation that appeared increasingly likely: an extended emergency closure of campus facilities and operations. The planning process focused on two key objectives: delivering as many of our services as possible to our users from a distance; and preparing our employees, with varying levels of technology literacy and internet access, to work remotely from home. First, we developed an exhaustive list of the services available through the Libraries and determined which of those services could be moved into an online environment in some capacity or expanded to meet the demand of remote students and faculty, such as our scan and deliver service. Second, the Libraries drafted an Emergency Action Plan for technology to accomplish three primary goals: ensure that emergency preparedness documents and contacts were updated and available to all library employees; ensure that employees had the technology necessary to perform basic work functions at home, including a computer, network connection, and access to core software applications; and ensure that employees were trained to successfully work from home, easily communicate with co-workers, and share documents. The Emergency Action Plan included a survey of all library employees to determine how many of them had a computer, secure network, webcam, and/or headset available at home, as well as a pilot “Work from Home” course designed in Canvas to prepare employees in the use of a suite of technology tools for remote work. Thanks to this preliminary planning, Clemson Libraries experienced a relatively smooth transition to the remote working environment and was better positioned to meet the research, teaching, and learning needs of our community in a time of crisis.