By Petra Wallgren Björk | Published: 2022-12-23
The December issue is ready for you all!
Is it too early to talk about libraries in the post-pandemic world?
Maybe yes or maybe it is still not possible to have that perspective that one has when a sufficient amount of time has passed and one is able to see things from afar and as a whole. We should have a distance tool such as Google Earth to be able to step-back and look at the new reality, the so-called “new normal”, as a whole and then zoom in on the different contexts and countries to grasp and observe similarities, differences and relationships.
The theme is certainly current, you just need to go online to see how many articles, blogs, podcasts and even webinars are emerging on this topic with the aim of analyzing the changing roles of post-pandemic libraries. What opportunities and changes that the pandemic has brought in terms of library services, of library spaces, of students’ needs, of innovative strategies and emerging technologies (not least the challenge of artificial intelligence).
During the pandemic, libraries have learned to be more agile and flexible, and to strengthen their ability to outreach, to collaborate and to share both competencies and services. New hybrid working models and many adjustments in the workflows helped keep the pace with the changes caused by the pandemic.
But what has remained of all the transformations which occurred during the pandemic? Which will impact and reshape the profession of librarianship and information specialist in the coming post-pandemic years?
The three articles published in this JEAHIL issue offer interesting insights into these important questions. We wish to thank the authors for sharing with the EAHIL community their experiences and thoughts.
- Ülle Kuuse, Eve Pohlak and Angela Räis (Tallinn Health Care College, Tallin, Estonia) ask themselves if the pandemic has made librarians step out of frames. Certainly they had to adapt to the new situation and to create innovative ways to further support teaching and research activities within the College.
- Nicole Capdarest-Arest (University of California, Davis, USA) in the paper titled “Sharing COVID-19 experiences of health information and library professionals” reports about the discussions related to how the pandemic affected health information and library professionals and their institutions, during the workshop “Libraries After COVID-19: a Learning Conversation held at the EAHIL 2022 Rotterdam Conference. Difficulties, positive outcomes and a “navigate the future” conversation are reported.
- In the third paper published in this issue, Malin Ekstrand and Monika Janvari (the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden), make some interesting considerations on the current situation of their library after the pandemic and in particular, they observed a drop in library visits and library use, and reflect on the students’ behavior and on “providing a user-oriented library where digital and hybrid spaces coexist”.