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Reopening the academic library in the post-pandemic season: A lesson-learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

Authors:

I. D. K. L. Fernando ,

University of Ruhuna, LK
About I. D. K. L.
Senior Assistant Librarian, Library
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P. K. Jayasekara

University of Ruhuna, LK
About P. K.
Senior Assistant Librarian, Library
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Abstract

Information has becoming the most valuable asset in the emerging world. Hence, information has become one of the major driving forces that lead a country towards sustainable development. While the libraries and other information centers are closed around the world, it could be adversely affected on the economy and general livelihood of the society. Thus, continuing the information services uninterruptedly is a matter of significance. However, the continuum of library services during lock-down situations and post-pandemic scenarios should be practice with proper care and understanding, especially during the post-pandemic conditions when re-commencing work in an academic library after the lock-down situation. Prevailing COVID -19 pandemic has provided an eye-opening lesson for academic librarians to re-think the way they perform and in what ways they can prepare for the post-pandemic reopening of the library. With the knowledge of the COVID -19 pandemic and related pathological nature of the virus, the present approach attempts to formulate an input while reopening the academic libraries of Sri Lanka. The concept also is applicable while planning to provide library services in similar post-lockdown scenarios. Practical safety precautions were suggested after conducting a thorough literature search in relevant and reputed journal databases, magazines and official websites. It can be recommended that the library should formulate a dedicated body, with the leadership of one senior member of the library staff for the overall monitoring and assessment of the pandemic-safety in the reopening time. Awareness of the libraries' stakeholders via different mediums, develop policies for disinfection, meetings, and other official tasks can be suggested. Following a country-specific existing-strategy that developed for the libraries of Sri Lanka is highly recommended. As a summary, the academic library should formulate an integrated pandemic prevention protocol to serve the library patrons with a delightful post-pandemic reopening experience.
How to Cite: Fernando, I.D.K.L. and Jayasekara, P.K., 2020. Reopening the academic library in the post-pandemic season: A lesson-learned from the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of the University Librarians Association of Sri Lanka, 23(2), pp.47–70. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jula.v23i2.7975
Published on 15 Sep 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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