The Arturo Jauretche National University

The printed collections of the university libraries were trapped in the walls of the universities, most of which still remain closed due to the Preventive and Compulsory Social Isolation (ASPO). However, librarians have been prepared for technological and informational innovation in the management of digital bibliographic collections for a long time, and our collections have even been hybrid for some time. This means that a part of the collection support is printed, and is complemented by another part of the collection in digital support.

The digital collections of university libraries are mainly made up of different items such as digital books, titles and articles of electronic journals, databases of scientific – academic information, videos, online resources, learning resources, theses, photographs, audio files , open research data, accessible texts among others. These collections are previously selected and then processed by the cataloging librarians, who have all their resources in an online catalog so that users can access with a search like Google.

From the national and regional level

The proposal was sent to all public universities, to the authorities and to networks such as the Argentine Interuniversity Library Network (RedIAB), the University Network for Distance Education (RUEDA) and the National University Publishing Network (REUN). Currently, 51 channels with different experiences were activated with the intention of integrating the areas of distance education together with each Library, which in this way can provide a service in support of virtual education, since their printed collections were trapped before the emergency situation.

The university libraries of the Buenos Aires suburbs, which had been working in permanent cooperation for several years, deepened this interaction even more to respond to the new information needs in this challenging context. In this sense, they shared services, resources and training periodically. Likewise, they supported each other so that the management of each library could reorganize the services and tools it provided, sharing ideas, technological solutions and new proposals in the transition to the so-called “new normal”.

From the Arturo Jauretche National University

The Arturo Jauretche National University deepened accompaniment actions for students to improve permanence and accompaniment actions for teachers to improve educational quality. These actions, generated and gradually integrated by all areas of the university, were surveyed in order to know the degree of integration and generate proposals for improvements for the second semester.

The strategy adopted to accompany the virtualization of teaching during the COVID from the UNAJ Central Library was the reengineering of tools and services, focusing on our users and on supporting virtual teaching and putting quality and quality first. the inclution. During the first semester we went through a period of searching for new strategies and a redesign of how to offer our services and tools, but also a constant adaptation to change. Support was provided in two ways: within the virtual campus platform, on the one hand, and, on the other, externally, with multiple strategies from the library’s sub-site and its social networks.

Some strategies

The massive offer of digital services and tools by libraries was due to the fact that private publishers of various national and international digital platforms allowed their use for free during the first four-month period, and some exceptions. In the case of UNAJ, it was moderately prepared because it has subscribed to BIDI since 2015.

A new proposal was implemented in the digital Library collection, with new incorporation of platforms and restructuring of the collections on the website. Our collection consisted of BIDI and the Electronic Library (BECYT) of the Ministry of Science and Technology, with access only to interlibrary loan. During the pandemic, the Ministry of Education provided access to ‘Read at Home’ and ‘PRONAFE Learning Resources’ developed by INET for the pedagogical continuity of nursing education, both from the BIDI platform.

Our proposal was to make changes to our collection and we divided access to different collections. We regroup the collections into three divisions:

-Academic Collection (BIDI and PRONAFE Learning Resources)

-Academic and research collection (BECYT) and

-Multidisciplinary collection aimed at all educational levels, from the initial to the beginning of the university (« Read at Home »), which allowed us to serve the entire family of the university community.

Digital libraries allowed:

-Provide the Literature Friday service since we do not subscribe to the recreational literary collection, which is only found in our printed collections.

-Offering teachers material for the preparation of their classes, inclusion in their virtual classrooms and access to students of a pleasant reading with a good predisposition for reading, studying and reusing information.

-Multidisciplinary collections such as Reading at Home allowed us to get closer to the families of the workers, both node teachers and teachers, and those of the students. Because our students attend the library with their children and while they consult the bibliography we provide them with a children’s collection, thus promoting reading for the whole family.

Review and adaptation of other pre-existing resources. Some of the most important:

Videos from for informational and digital literacy were incorporated into the educational channel, as well as videos selected by the careers; the channel only contained videos produced by the institution for some subjects.

More than 500 titles from open access digital books and magazines were selected and incorporated into the online catalog, and titles from the BIDI digital library and digital books from the Library of the Ministry of Science and Technology (BECYT) were added. This made it possible to offer the university community reliable digital resources that can be accessed without getting lost on the web, which allows the generation of bibliographic lists that can be incorporated into the virtual campus classroom through a link and / or downloaded from the bibliographic managers .

The visibility of the selection of free or open access online resources is promoted

Generation of new resources and services. Some of the highlights:

The Digital Bibliography resource, which was designed as a quick access to all the digital resources of the library, divided into three large collections.

-Resources released exceptionally by private publishers such as EBSCO, Dynamed, Enfermería al día, Smart Image (anatomy images), Jove, Thomson . legal resources on health, science, legislation, etc.

-The digital resources of the central library all grouped in the same space.

-Resources on COVID.

A Bibliographic Suggestions form was generated to incorporate digital bibliography for subscription in 2021 or entry of bibliography in open access

The virtual points of contact to consult our librarians through the Ask the librarian form were improved, and inquiries are handled through social networks.

The Youtube Channel of the UNAJ Central Library was developed, where tutorials were generated for the use of services and tools prepared by the librarians.

A meticulous job of curating bibliographic content on COVID was carried out in order to offer it to our community, accompanying the investigations and the need for reliable and updated information.

An important accompanying document was generated to support virtual education that contains recommendations for the incorporation of bibliography on campus advocating good practices regarding the legal framework of intellectual property, the right to education and culture, and the wide benefits and possibilities offered by open access, fostering the generation of original content by our teachers. A path that was only possible because a lawyer specialized in intellectual property accompanied us.

We work together with the virtual campus and we achieve presence in the teachers’ classroom.

Interaction of the online catalog with the virtual campus and bibliographic managers was disseminated to incorporate the digital bibliography through links in simple three steps for the teacher, which entails a fast and efficient service for our teachers but which also implies a great job for the librarians.

Some reflections

We emphasize that digital libraries allow breaking the barriers of 24-hour service. through the platforms leaving personalized advice at the time when librarians can provide service from their homes. This allows for possible adaptation and integration in the current situation.

Videoconferences by multiple devices and their massive use allowed libraries to carry out training in informational and digital literacy aimed at enriching the use of academic scientific information, acquiring new skills and tools for students, teachers and nodes, with the objective to improve the ability to face the pandemic with valuable information for the citizen. The virtualization of all environments also enabled the training of library teams because our jobs were once again transformed by technology.

There is no Netflix library for libraries or a single digital solution that allows us, from a single platform, to provide a service for everyone. What exists are multiple platforms and strategies. The platforms have different business models that allow us to provide a digital bibliography service to our community, but which must be selected by librarians. Then they will have to work on incorporating it into their bibliographic catalogs or discovery databases, because no community needs the same information and no university offers the same majors or under the same approach. It is essential to put on the agenda the development of digital bibliographic collections as one of the strategies for the virtualization of teaching as a public university educational policy with inclusion and quality.

By Romina Décima – Head of Library of the National University Arturo Jautetche