What happened behind closed doors when libraries went into lockdown?
In a word, librarians innovated – adjusting work and public services during the pandemic to meet researchers’ needs. All the while, they also re-imagined their institutions with eyes on the post-pandemic future.
Christian Dupont is Burns Librarian at Boston College and associate university librarian for special collections with responsibilities for directing the John J. Burns Library for Rare Books & Special Collections and University Archives.
On and off the BC campus, Dupont found opportunity and inspiration in the unexpected quiet. And when he and other BC librarians prepared to return, they reckoned with more than safety precautions.
“It created a lot of stress for people because everyone has different ways of responding to a health emergency, and still do. And this whole last year, during the pandemic, movements and awareness of social justice issues were happening across the world, particularly our country,” he explains to CCC.
“So when you are subjecting some of your staff to coming onsite – which would pose a greater health risk for them – and some would stay at home, we had to ask, ‘What is the equity in that? How do we balance it? How do we share that?’