The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new questions for research and teaching on campus, and the Leddy Library is finding answers.
Information services librarian Adam Mulcaster is currently helping a group of researchers in the faculties of nursing; science; and arts, humanities, and social sciences identify literature to support their work in assessing the impact of COVID-19 on regional health care workers, particularly those who are crossing the international border daily to commute to their jobs in Michigan.
“As a border community opposite a major U.S. city, we have a relatively unique situation where large numbers of local nurses, many of them UWindsor alumni, cross the border each day to serve in a pandemic hotspot,” said Mulcaster. “Providing support in identifying relevant literature to allow those with subject expertise to quickly get to work will help with the immediate needs of this crisis but also with the long road ahead to a new normal.”
Having joined the Leddy Library in January, Mulcaster was fortunate to establish his footing and get acquainted with his new colleagues. But when the campus closed, he had to reconfigure his work environment to reflect the needs of essential campus services.
With the need to transition to online courses, Mulcaster, who serves as the liaison for nursing and psychology, has been assisting faculty members in these departments identify new materials to support online delivery.
"Some course materials translate readily from face-to-face to online delivery, while other resources no longer make sense,” said Mulcaster. “Librarians are here to help faculty quickly identify options for new materials and help to make them easily accessible to students right in Blackboard.”
Students and faculty can now book a remote appointment with Mulcaster and other librarians through the Leddy Library’s online booking system, as well as through virtual chat on the library website.
“I am still meeting faculty and students and striving to help them with their research needs,” said Mulcaster. “We are able to meet virtually online and deliver this support remotely.”
Although virtual services were adapted to allow the library to continue to provide key services during the pandemic, Mulcaster plans to continue with web bookings and video conferencing even after the eventual return to campus.
“It’s an accessible and approachable way to connect with students, some of whom may have been reticent to make an in-person consultation with a librarian before, and improve their information literacy skills,” he said.