Thursday, September 17, 2020

Managing Interlibrary Loan Returns During COVID-19

 OCLC, an international library services cooperative, runs a number of blogs, one of them called Hanging Together.

Earlier this week, it published an article entitled Managing interlibrary loan returns and overdues during the pandemic: emerging consensus from the SHARES resource sharing consortium:

"After months of working at home, staff are now returning to their libraries, implementing safety protocols, ramping up services, and in some cases welcoming library users back into the building. Physical collections are back in play. One consequence of libraries closing suddenly and staying shut down for several months is that there is now quite a large backlog of interlibrary loan books that were caught in limbo when a state of emergency was declared back in March."

"There are many aspects of this challenge that deserve attention, and more than one way to go about solving the problem of getting tens of thousands of stranded books back to the lending libraries where they belong. SHARES members spent a recent town hall discussing the most constructive point of view to have about the return process in the time of COVID, as both a borrower and a lender, and were able to reach a consensus on the 'best' philosophy for managing overdue notices and recalls during a pandemic — at least the best philosophy for the SHARES consortium. (SHARES is a mix of small, medium and large academic libraries, special libraries focusing on law and art, and one major public library — about 100 libraries in all, at 70+ institutions, spread across 5 countries. What works best for your library or consortium may well differ from SHARES solutions, but we hope the questions we’re asking and approaches we’re taking will contribute to conversations happening across the global resource sharing system.)"

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:41 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Library Community Submissions to 2021 Pre-Budget Consultations

The website Librarianship.ca has posted an article on Library Community Submissions to 2021 Pre-Budget Consultations.

The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and the Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC) recently submitted their proposals to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance’s Pre-Budget Consultations for the year 2021.

CARL is focusing on closing the gap in broadband connectivity between groups and regions in the country, whereas CULC is putting emphasis on access to e-content for libraries, support for vulnerable populations, support for Canadian publishers and booksellers, as well as better broadband connectivity.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:00 pm 0 comments

Final Report on Creation of National Shared Print Network in Canada.

A joint working group of the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) has released its final report with recommendations on the creation of a collective shared print program across Canadian libraries.

The Canadian Collective Print Strategy Working Group made up of representatives from key academic, public, and government libraries, and from regional consortia makes thirteen recommendations for the successful establishment of a national shared print network in Canada:

Those recommendations include: 
  • The formation of a national shared print network that coordinates the activities of existing regional shared print initiatives and provides a path to participation for other interested libraries not yet in a shared print program.
  • The network to be governed by a national steering committee with representatives from the regional academic library consortia, existing shared print projects, Library and Archives Canada (LAC), Canadian Urban Libraries Council (CULC), and others.
  • The formation of an operations working group with representatives from participating libraries and shared print programs, who bring relevant frontline expertise on collection management, metadata, holdings disclosure, and access.
  • The Council of Pacific and Prairie University Libraries (COPPUL) act as the administrative host for the national network.
  • An initial three-year commitment in order to allow time to secure further funding through grants and partnerships, to make initial progress, and to review and solidify the network.
  • A Year 1 budget of $115,000 with cumulative cost of living increases of 3% in Years 2 and 3.
  • Adherence to the current industry best practices for recording and exposing shared print commitments in local library management systems. Recording shared print commitments in the OCLC Shared Print Registry and CRL’s PAPR registry, as appropriate.
  • Developing a more complete set of standardized metadata elements for future phases of the national network’s program.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:50 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Law Library of Congress Report on Regulation of Wild Animal Wet Markets

 The Law Library of Congress has published a comparative law report on the Regulation of the Sale of Wild Animals and Their Meat in Markets:

This report, prepared by staff at the Law Library of Congress, examines the regulation of 'wet markets' at which wild animals, or the meat of such animals, can be purchased for human consumption. It covers 28 jurisdictions around the world, with a particular focus on sanitary requirements for such markets and the legality or otherwise of trading in wild animals or wild meat (also referred to as 'bushmeat'). The term 'wet market' can be taken to generally refer to 'a partially open commercial complex with vending stalls organized in rows; they often have slippery floors and narrow aisles along which independent vendors primarily sell wet items such as meat, poultry, seafood, vegetables, and fruits.' Such markets may or may not sell live animals and do not necessarily include wildlife or the meat or other products derived from wild animals.

Wet markets and other types of local or traditional food markets exist in countries around the world and are an important source of food as well as supporting the livelihoods of many people. However, they have also been identified as potential or likely sources of outbreaks of zoonoses (diseases or infections that are transmissible from animals to humans), including most recently in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recently published study on the effect of a wet market on COVID-19 transmission dynamics in China explained that
[e]vidence suggests that the novel coronavirus likely jumped from a primary reservoir (e.g. horseshoe bats) to an intermediary reservoir, possibly generating an outbreak among wild animals in at least one wet market in Wuhan, China (By Jon CohenJan, 2020, Li et al., 2020). The virus first infected multiple individuals working at, or visiting, the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market at an early stage, initiating multiple chains of transmission that ensured sustained transmission in the human population (Yang et al., 2020). While details of the origin of the outbreak remain uncertain, significant evidence strongly links the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan with the early spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) among humans (Li et al., 2020).
In April 2020, the director general of the World Health Organization (WHO) stated in a media briefing on COVID-19 that the WHO is working with United Nations bodies to develop new guidance on the safe operation of wet markets. He stated that the 'WHO’s position is that when these markets are allowed to reopen it should only be on the condition that they conform to stringent food safety and hygiene standards.' The director general also emphasized that governments must 'vigorously enforce bans on the sale and trade of wildlife for food'."

The Law Library of Congress is the world’s largest law library, with a collection of over 2 and a half million volumes from all ages of history and virtually every jurisdiction in the world.

Over the years, it has published dozens of comparative law reports which are a treasure trove for legal research on a huge variety of issues.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:04 pm 0 comments

How Three Toronto Law Firms Adapted to the COVID-19 Lockdown

 Precedent Magazine published an article last week on how three Toronto law firms quickly learned how to adapt to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:

"In the tech industry, the informal motto is 'move fast and break things.' In law, the equivalent axiom might as well be 'move slow and don’t touch anything.' The core tenets of our legal system are nearly 1,000 years old, and the norms and practices of the profession are similarly ancient. So what happens when an industry rooted in precedent — both legal and institutional — faces an unprecedented crisis?"

"We now have an answer to that question. In March, the COVID-19 pandemic turned the legal world upside down, shuttering offices, closing courthouses and making face-to-face client meetings impossible. What follows is the story of how three firms — an established personal-injury outfit, a brand-new workplace and alternative-dispute resolution practice, and one of the most storied litigation boutiques in the country — adapted to the biggest period of upheaval in a generation."


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:55 pm 0 comments

Monday, September 14, 2020

Canadian Association of Law Libraries - Reopening Guide

The  Canadian Association of Law Libraries has published a Law Library Reopening Guide which is intended to be "be a source of information to support decisions about how to safely provide services to law library clients."

It has sections on:

  • Interactions with people
  • Safe circulation and handling practices
  • Adjustments to physical space

It also provides a template for developing a library return to work plan.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:30 pm 0 comments

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Statistics Canada Article on Experiences of Victimization of Sexual Minorities

 A new article in the Statistics Canada publication Juristat shows that gay, lesbian, bisexual and other sexual minority people in Canada were almost three times more likely than heterosexual Canadians to report that they had been physically or sexually assaulted in the previous 12 months in 2018 and more than twice as likely to report having been violently victimized since the age of 15. 

Sexual minority Canadians were also more than twice as likely as heterosexual Canadians to experience inappropriate sexual behaviours in public, online or at work in the previous 12 months.

The article is entitled Experiences of violent victimization and unwanted sexual behaviours among gay, lesbian, bisexual and other sexual minority people, and the transgender population, in Canada, 2018.

Among the highlights:

  • According to the 2018 Survey of Safety in Public and Private Spaces (SSPPS), an estimated 1 million people in Canada are sexual minorities—that is, they reported their sexual orientation as gay, lesbian, bisexual or a sexual orientation that is not heterosexual—representing 4% of the population of Canada 15 years of age and older.
  • In addition, approximately 75,000 people, or 0.24% of the population of Canada aged 15 and older indicated on the SSPPS that their assigned sex at birth was different from their current gender, or that they were neither male nor female—in other words, that they are transgender. Those whose assigned sex at birth aligns with their gender are cisgender.
  • Excluding violence committed by an intimate partner, sexual minority Canadians were more likely to have experienced physical or sexual assault both since age 15 and in the past 12 months than heterosexual Canadians. Violence targeting sexual minority Canadians was also more likely to result in injuries than violence committed against heterosexual Canadians. In addition, sexual minority Canadians were less likely to report their physical assaults to the police.
  • Sexual minority Canadians were also more likely than heterosexual Canadians to report experiencing inappropriate behaviours in public (57% versus 22%), online (37% versus 15%) and at work (44% versus 22%) in the 12 months preceding the survey.
  • When it came to their experiences of inappropriate behaviours while online, sexual minority Canadians were more likely to report that they knew the person who had targeted them. They were also more likely than heterosexual Canadians to have taken measures to protect themselves from harassment online within the past 12 months (38% versus 23%).
  • Transgender Canadians were more likely to have experienced violence since age 15, and also more likely to experience inappropriate behaviours in public, online and at work than cisgender Canadians.
  • Sexual minority Canadians were more than twice as likely as heterosexual Canadians to have used drugs or alcohol to cope with emotional abuse or physical violence that they experienced since age 15 (24% versus 10%).
  • In general, when compared with heterosexual Canadians, those who were a sexual minority were more likely to engage in binge drinking (53% versus 44%), non-medicinal cannabis use (37% versus 15%), and non-prescribed drug use (10% versus 3%) in the 12 months preceding the SSPPS.
  • No statistically significant difference was observed between transgender and cisgender Canadians when it came to engaging in binge drinking and non-medicinal cannabis use in the past 12 months. However, transgender Canadians were more likely than cisgender Canadians to have used drugs or alcohol to cope with abuse or violence experienced in their lifetimes.
  • Overall, sexual minority Canadians were more likely than heterosexual Canadians to report that they considered their mental health to be poor or fair (32% versus 11%). They were also more likely to have seriously contemplated suicide in their lifetimes (40% versus 15%), and to have been diagnosed with a mood or anxiety disorder (41% versus 16%).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:32 pm 0 comments

September 2020 Issue of In Session - E-Newsletter of Canadian Association of Law Libraries

The September 2020 issue of In Session is available online.



It is the monthly e-newsletter of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL) and contains news from CALL committees and special interest groups, member updates and events.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:23 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Updated GlobaLex Research Guide on United Nations Documents

GlobaLex, a very good electronic collection created by the Hauser Global Law School Program at the New York University School of Law, has updated its guide on Researching the United Nations Documents:
"United Nations documentation can feel overwhelming. Researching UN documents can feel even more overwhelming. Two of the most difficult aspects of researching UN bodies, their documentation, and related international topics is the vast amount of documentation the UN produces, and the variety of places researchers should consult to be as comprehensive as possible. The complex structure of the UN often complicates the research even further. This article aims to aid researchers in deciding where to begin researching the UN documents, and it describes the most common entry points."

The updated guide was written by Janet Kearney, Foreign & International Law Librarian at the Maloney Library, Fordham University School of Law and Lucie Olejnikova, Head of Foreign and International Law at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:33 pm 0 comments

September 2020 Issue of Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World

The Governance and Recordkeeping Around the World newsletter, published by Library and Archives Canada (LAC), highlights issues pertaining to government and recordkeeping practices in the public and private sectors around the world.

The September 2020 issue has just been published.


It includes:

  • news items from Canada and around the world
  • announcements of upcoming Canadian and international events (meetings, conferences, seminars)
  • project and product news in areas such as digitization, archives, open source, e-government, access to information etc.
  • listings of papers and readings (white papers, presentations, reports)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:22 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Recent Developments in Law Reform from Around the World

 I had not heard of the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) but I recently discovered a publication of theirs on Recent Developments in Law Reform.

There is news about law reform work being done by the SAL in areas like the Impact of Robotics & AI on the Law as well as a number of articles about the work of law reform commissions from other countries on:

  • defamation (England, Scotland, Ontario, Australia)
  • corporate criminal responsability (Australia)
  • leasehold property owenership (UK)
  • the right of consumers placing online orders when the retailer goes bankrupt (UK)

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:24 pm 0 comments

Library Architects Aim for Virus-Responsive Design

 The journal American Libraries recently published an article on Virus-Responsive Design:

"Libraries have always been spaces for discovery. But in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have been tasked with transforming themselves into places that allow users to physically distance while being more digitally connected than ever. As some institutions emerge from months of shutdowns, design and architecture experts seek to meet current health and safety challenges as well as safeguard these community spaces against an uncertain future."

The article looks at safety enhancements, privacy, comfort, funding issues and technologies such as touchless lights, faucets, and doors as well as virus-killing UV lighting.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:15 pm 0 comments

REALM Project Test 4 Results for COVID Virus Survival on Library Materials

Research conducted as part of the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has been testing how long the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various library surfaces and materials.

In a fourth series of tests, the Project looked at different book covers as well as DVD cases and polyethylene foam for shipping:
"In the most recent test, scientists tested four materials similar to those in the first test group—the cover of hardcover books (buckram cloth), the cover of softback books, a DVD case, and mylar protective book cover jackets—only this time, the materials were stacked to simulate common storage configurations in libraries and archives. While the virus was not detectable on the materials laid flat after three days in the first test, the virus was still detectable on similar materials after six days when the materials were stacked."
REALM is a collaboration between OCLC, an international library services cooperative, the US government agency Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle, an R&D organization.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:10 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 27, 2020

September/October 2020 Issue of AALL Spectrum

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:41 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Canadian Association of Law Libraries VP Kim Nayyer Named to Fastcase 50

Kim Nayyer, Vice-President of the Canadian Association of Law Libraries, has been named to the 2020 list of Fastcase 50 legal innovators

Kim is currently the Edward Cornell Law Librarian and Associate Dean for Library Services, Cornell Law in the state of New York.

“Created in 2011, each year the Fastcase 50 award honors a diverse group of lawyers, legal technologists, policymakers, judges, law librarians, bar association executives, and people from all walks of life. In many cases, honorees are well known, but in many others, the award recognizes people who have made important, but unheralded contributions.”

“ 'Every part of the legal market is changing right now – from law school through every part of the practice,' said Fastcase CEO Ed Walters. 'That change can be daunting or discouraging to many people. And that’s one reason that our team enjoys celebrating the accomplishments of the Fastcase 50. These are people who inspire us by their intelligence, creativity, and leadership. We hope they will inspire others as well, especially during a time of great change for the profession'. ”

Here is what Fastcase published about her:

Fastcase is an American-based provider of electronic versions of U.S. primary law (cases, statutes, regulations, court rules, and constitutions).

Simon Fodden, the founder of Slaw.ca, Canada's preeminent online legal magazine, was recognized as one of the Fastcase 50 in 2014.

Michael Mills, one of the Fastcase 50 in 2012, wrote in 2015 on LinkedIn about how the winners of the previous 5 years had begun to form an ecosystem of innovation:
“They champion transparency—in lawyer/client relations, in government data, policy, and practice, in judicial proceedings, and in legal education. They advocate for access—to the law itself, and to justice. They build structures, systems, and tools for access, quality, economy, and efficiency.”

They also collaborate. A tour of the five classes found time and again 50’s who are working together across organizations and projects, who influence and inspire one another.” [my emphasis]
Using his company as an example, Mills writes that “from any one person among the Fastcase 250, there are lines linking in many directions to many others.”

That has only become truer with time.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:53 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Survey of Academic Library Use of Open Access Materials

Primary Research Group, a New York-based publisher of research reports and surveys about libraries, has published the Survey of Academic Library Use of Open Access Materials ($95.00 US):

"As a response to the COVID crisis many colleges and universities are turning to open access resources and this report gives highly detailed data on the extent of use of a broad range of specific open access resources including but not limited to Google Scholar, Google Books, LOCKSS, the Directory of Open Access Journals, PubMed Central,  arXiv, bioRxiv, MedRxiv, ResearchGate the Directory of Open Access Books, OAPEN, the Online Guide to Open Access Journals, PDQY, Open Access Theses and Dissertations, the Registry of Research Data Repositories, MedEdPortal, the Open Access Directory, OpenDOAR, the Free Music Archive, EBSCO Open Dissertations, Science.Gov, OpenStax, MERLOT, Lumen Learning, the Open Course Library, Boundless and Saylor Academy."

"The report also looks at use of interlibrary loan, direct appeals to authors and at pirating sites such as Sci-Hub as ways to fulfill patron demand after subscription cancellations.  The study also gives detailed data on the use of, and perception of the skill level in using, digital object identifiers to track and find open access and other available free or low- cost materials. Study participants also comment on what they are doing to publicize open access resources to their patrons, and what training they are providing in their discovery and use. "

"Just a few of the 132-page report’s many findings are that:

    • 37% of those sampled turn to interlibrary loan as their first choice in replacing content to which they have lost access (...)
    • 63% of US-based colleges and universities in the sample produced a guidebook, listserv or LibGuide on how to locate and use open access resources."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:37 pm 0 comments

Thursday, August 20, 2020

NYU Guide on Safe Handling of Library Materials

 NYU Libraries in New York City has published a Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) guide with a section on the Safe Handling of Library Materials.

The section on "Recommendations for Safe Handling" covers:

  • Library returns
  • Plastic cases (CD/DVD)
  • Mail, boxes, and packages
  • Computers/technology guidelines
  • Book trucks
  • Paging [i.e. handling physical materials] and Scanning


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:40 pm 0 comments

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

White Paper on Dramatic Changes to Law Firm Management Due to COVID-19

 A recent Association of Legal Administrators poll shows that many law firms see the radical changes in management and operations brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic as more than temporary.

Among the findings:

  • Working from home will be permanent
  • Changes to back-office support structures will accelerate
  • COVID-19 has made legal staff more willing to change their working practices
  • Visibility of workflow and task delegation is a significant challenge
  • Returning to work requires separate plans for each office
  • IT services will continue to be heavily utilized

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 7:41 pm 0 comments

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

REALM Project Test 3 Results for COVID Virus Survival on Library Materials

This is a follow-up to the July 21, 2020 post entitled REALM Project Test 2 Results for COVID Virus Survival on 5 Library Materials.

Research conducted as part of the REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Project has been testing how long the virus SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 remains detectable on various library surfaces and materials.

In a third series of tests, the Project looked at various storage containers and packaging:
"Results show that after five days of quarantine in an unstacked configuration, the SARS-CoV-2 virus was not detected on the storage bag (flexible plastic) or the DVD. The storage container (rigid plastic), plexiglass, and the USB cassette all showed detectable virus at five days. Day five was the final timepoint tested."

"Compared to the results of Test 1 and 2, this data suggests that a slightly longer quarantine time for these types of plastic-based materials may be required to render SARS-CoV-2 undetectable through natural attenuation alone. Alternatively, based on the materials’ nonporous nature, suitable liquid disinfection methods may promote a more rapid decontamination than the quarantine method."

 REALM is a collaboration between OCLC, an international library services cooperative, the US government agency Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Battelle, an R&D organization.

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 8:59 pm 0 comments

Monday, August 17, 2020

Law Reform Commission Meeting on The Rule of Law and The Response To COVID-19

In early July, the 4 law commission of England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Jersey held a joint annual meeting to discuss government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.

They recently published the proceedings from that gathering:

"Striking the balance between the urgency of the responses required by a public health crisis and the rule of law is a challenge for every legitimate government. Achieving the balance not only protects human rights and safeguards institutions but may also help to support the measures required by the emergency by sustaining public trust in the institutions and in the legitimacy and necessity of the measures introduced. It is an issue that has been considered in both international instruments and national legal frameworks ... Ten principles to reconcile the immediate exigencies of a crisis with the long-term legitimacy offered by the rule of law may be derived from these sources: legality, necessity, proportionality, non-discrimination, time ii limits, non-derogable rights, international obligations, parliamentary scrutiny, effective remedy and transparency." 

"Bodies engaged with law reform such as the Law Commissions attending this online Joint Annual Meeting of the four neighbouring Law Commissions have a role in supporting governments achieve the best outcomes. The meeting presented a timely opportunity to take stock of what measures had been introduced and to evaluate their compatibility with human rights and the rule of law (...)" 

"Presentations were made by each of the Law Commissions for England and Wales, Ireland, Scotland and Jersey. The Law Commission of England and Wales gave an oral presentation about potential post-COVID law reform priorities and did not present a formal paper to the meeting. The papers prepared by or digests of the presentations from each of the Law Commissions of Ireland, Scotland and Jersey follow."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:33 pm 0 comments

Sunday, August 16, 2020

August Survey Results - U.S. Academic Law Libraries COVID-19 Response

NELLCO, a law library consortium based in the North East United States, has published results from a survey it recently conducted concerning the response of American academic law libraries to the COVID-19 pandemic.

70 institutions responded. The results are focused on the fall 2020 semester and broken down into seven sections:
  • Survey Overview & Demographics
  • Fall 2020 Plans
  • Library Collections
  • Library Services
  • Library Staffing
  • Health & Safety
  • Library Space

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 4:25 pm 0 comments