Access to sealed treasure chambers – how the University Library supplies its users with resources despite the closure
Since March 24, the University of Potsdam has been under emergency on-site operations. What does this mean for the library?
The libraries have been closed as well, since March 15 already. Users cannot borrow anything or work on site. Employees of the library are also working from home as far as possible and will only be on site for urgent tasks. But of course, the subject librarians, as the first point of contact, can still be reached without restrictions by telephone and e-mail.
What happens with media that have been borrowed?
Users are to keep these resources as long as the library remains closed. No fines will be charged for the closure period.
Which resources can still be accessed?
Currently, only electronic media can be accessed. On the UB website we have provided extensive information on how to search for the available electronic offers of the UB, the current additional offers of the publishing houses and also on the services of other libraries which can be used by everyone: www.ub.uni-potsdam.de/de/recherche/elektronische-ressourcen.
What are you doing to ensure that everyone who needs literature – for term papers and final theses, but also for research projects – gets access to it?
The University Library makes every effort to purchase the media urgently needed for teaching in electronic formats – as far as this is possible. However, it is currently not possible to say exactly when they will be available, as some of the publishers are also working at reduced capacity.
Preparations for the summer semester 2020, which will for a large part take place without any on-site attendance, are currently in full swing at the university. How is the library preparing for that?
At the moment, one important aspect for us is to support teaching staff in the preparation of their online teaching: we provide scans of essays or an emergency loan with media being delivered to the respective institute via in-house mail. There are also document deliveries from other libraries or via other delivery services, as far as this is currently possible.
Are there any more suggestions about what can be done additionally in the coming days and weeks?
We hope to be able to extend the scanning and emergency lending services to other user groups. However, this depends on the one hand on demand and on the other hand on the number of employees who are allowed to work on site in the library without compromising infection protection. In any case: If the overall situation will permit this, we would of course like to reopen the libraries, if necessary with a limited offer, e.g. to comply with the distance regulations.
Further information is available here: https://www.ub.uni-potsdam.de/en/