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Library Quarterly Report FY22 Q2: October-December 2021


A new chapter: Libraries Adapt to COVID-19

M

onths 20-22 of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to see the "normalization" of library operations, though demand and use of library collections and services has varied in ways that are hard to predict or understand. The library continues to see an uptick in "general questions" like those answered by the MyVDOT portal, so we are redoubling our efforts to refer patrons as appropriate to that portal or other departments within the agency.

 

Another update this quarter had to do with the library's work with VITA to integrate Microsoft Teams into LibChat, which was completed this quarter, allowing library staff to invite chat participants into Microsoft Teams meetings with real-time audio and screen sharing. It is not clear how much this feature will be used by library staff, though chat remains an important (and growing) form of interacting with VDOT customers. In addition, the library has activated a series of 20 "tokens" to provide access to articles from Taylor & Francis journals (beyond the 3 journals we have an "unlimited" subscription access to) and the first tokens were used by Becky Ernest to provide articles to patrons through a mediated document delivery service.

 

As detailed in this quarter's Spotlight, the library was suddenly required to undertake a major shelf shifting project this quarter—the first such shifting project since 2004. While the majority of the work was completed through the efforts of Gil Kenner, some of the work carried into FY22Q3 and will be detailed next quarter.


As monitored by Barb Neyman, the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) made historic changes to
P.E. Civil exam. It will become a computer-based test next April and will also be available year round. The library will continue tracking changes in this realm since our PE exam study collections are very popular.

Emergency Scanning Project: Error 404 "Files Not Found"
In November the library was contacted by VDOT Communications, when it was discovered 16 digital files representing minutes and notes from the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) Digital Archive circa 1934-1935 were "missing" from their server. Were they lost for good?  W
e knew our library had the most complete print collections of CTB minutes known to exist and despite a need for careful handling, the files had been well preserved by the library. Barb Neyman helped identify precisely what information was needed and Gil Kenner digitized those pages and delivered them to VDOT Communications. VDOT Webmaster Cynthia Brown noted: "The quality of the scans was outstanding. In fact, it's even better than what the professional original scanners produced when the archive was created. Thanks to the excellent staff of the VDOT Library! Without you these [minutes] might have been lost forever." 

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