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Three Years of Pandemic Life: A Roundup of Information Today's COVID-19 Content
Posted On November 1, 2023
PAGE: 1 2 3 4

Jan/Feb 2021 IT coverJANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

Editor’s Note by Brandi Scardilli, “Better Times Ahead,” page 1

Things are certainly looking brighter already. Thanks to the promise of widespread vaccinations in 2021, we can finally look forward to a post-pandemic world. It may be some time before we truly feel safe, and there are some aspects of our lives that may have changed forever. It’s too soon to tell how much of COVID-19’s upheaval is permanent. But for now, let’s celebrate the fact that this year is already off to a good start.

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “Living With Uncertainty,” page 4

From interviewee Matt Finch:

I’ve been very fortunate, because I’m basically in the uncertainty business—I help people navigate their way through troubled times. I had to shift online, but this is really a time when many people are looking to have the kind of conversations I help with: What’s coming next? How do we change, and what should we become?

The Help Desk by Sophia Guevara, “Send a Message With Your Mask,” page 13

These days, wearing a mask is a health and safety priority. Some rely on paper masks or simple cloth masks. Others have chosen to wear masks that are unique in order to reflect their personality, support a cause they hold dear, or send a message to others.

It’s 2021. Do You Know Where Your Laws Are?” by Anthony Aycock, page 14

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, North Carolina’s governor, Roy Cooper, was an early adopter of public restrictions. He declared a state of emergency on March 10. Four days later, he issued his first order restricting public gatherings. Dozens more followed, resulting in the closures of bars, restaurants, amusement parks, and more. All of these orders withstood legislative and judicial efforts to overturn them—except the order to close churches, which was nullified by a federal court on May 16. …

How to Use Grant Writing to Offset Library Budget Cuts” by Amber Boedigheimer, page 16

What are some options for supporting a library during the pandemic? My answer would be to either drastically cut spending or raise revenue. But how do you raise revenue in a time of economic downfall? Grant writing may be the answer.

After Hours by Thomas Pack, “Browse an Online Gallery for Original Art,” page 18

Home improvement projects have boomed during the pandemic. Hardware stores report major growth, and paint company Sherwin-Williams posted a 5.2% increase in Q3 2020 sales from Q3 2019. If you’ve recently remodeled a room—or if you’re just looking for a quick way to spruce up your space—you might be in the market for new artwork.

NewsBytes, page 23

figshare rolled out “The State of Open Data 2020” report, which analyzes global attitudes toward sharing, reusing, and redistributing open data as well as the impact of COVID-19 on research and data sharing.

Legal Issues by George H. Pike, “Peloton’s IP Obstacle Course,” page 24

The pandemic has had different impacts on different businesses. Fitness centers and gyms were among the early victims of the March 2020 lockdown, being forced to fully close in many states. Then, they were permitted to reopen in a limited capacity, but experienced another round of closures or severe restrictions in the late fall. By contrast, however, home gym equipment manufacturers, including Peloton, NordicTrack, and Echelon, saw business boom.

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “Simple Tech Tools to Help Your Business Soar in 2021,” page 34

Due to COVID-19, there are many services—including some of those featured [in this article]—that have slashed rates to meet the needs of remote workers and small and home-based businesses.

Let’s Get Strategic by Linda Pophal, “COVID-19’s Impact on 2021 Content Marketing Strategy,” page 36

As businesses plan for 2021, none can ignore the potential for COVID-19 to continue disrupting their operations and impacting consumer decisions.

For content marketers, COVID-19 has meant a sudden shift away from blatantly overt promotion and a pivot toward thoughtful, helpful, and safety-related messaging that resonates with consumers. …

March 2021 IT coverMARCH 2021

Editor’s Note by Brandi Scardilli, “Always Changing, Always Adapting,” page 1

[W]e’ve wanted to serve as a historical record of the pandemic—many of our writers have focused on it in the past year, and we’ve shared excerpts from some online coverage. But we also want to give you a break from hearing about it constantly.

Beyond Coping: Libraries Stepping Up to Meet Community Needs During the Pandemic” by Dave Shumaker, page 12

The pandemic, like any other natural or human-caused disaster, had created new community needs. So, librarians began reaching out to their communities and expanding their services. [This article features] some of the important actions they took.

“A Librarian Reflects on 20 Years in the Business” by Anthony Aycock, page 15

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, my library was seemingly one of the few state agencies open to the public. We were flooded with calls about mask requirements, testing locations, school schedules, and unemployment benefits. We had no special knowledge of these topics. Often, what we told people was what we had read or seen on the news. The important provision, though, was human contact.

Insider’s Perspective, “Has COVID-19 Changed Access to Scholarly Research?” by Kamran R. Kardan, page 18

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we live in many ways, exemplified most notably, perhaps, by the advent of remote working and the meteoric rise of online shopping. However, it has also changed the way the academic community is thinking about access to information.

In Other Words by Lauree Padgett, “Comm-Motion,” page 22

I formatted the title [of this article, “Comm-Motion,”] this way because the two articles I’m highlighting—from the January/February issues of Computers in Libraries (CIL) and KMWorld—deal with “comm” words and the pandemic: i.e., communication and community.

NewsBytes, page 23

Europe PMC indexed Research Square’s collection of more than 4,500 full-text COVID-19-related preprints.

Legal Issues by George H. Pike, “Digging Out New IP Laws Buried in the Appropriations Act,” page 24

In December 2020, Congress passed, and the president signed, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (Public Law 116-260). It was largely promoted to the public and by the media for its provisions to deliver a second round of COVID-related economic relief. …

International Report by John Charlton, “Crime, Copyright, COVID-19, Collections, and Chocolate,” page 26

LIBER (Association of European Research Libraries) surveyed its members toward the end of 2020 on how COVID-19 had impacted them. Some 298 libraries responded from 31 European countries. …

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “Pros and Cons of Collaboration Software and Apps,” page 34

Add a pandemic to maintaining and growing your business, and the need to foster productive communication is vital. This is why some small business owners and entrepreneurs are discovering how collaboration software, as well as social media software, is helping to make their “dream work.”

Let’s Get Strategic by Linda Pophal, “How Marketers Will Use Video in 2021,” page 38

With so many organizations and individuals operating in new ways and finding themselves needing to be socially distanced from people they formerly met up with in person, video has become a go-to tool for interactions that include business development, education, and infotainment.

AI Ethicist by Kashyap Kompella, “AI Ethics: Taking Stock and the Way Forward,” page 40

As we started wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, facial recognition systems faltered and provided a hint of the fragility of the underlying intelligence.

April 2021 IT coverAPRIL 2021

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “Queen of Makerspaces,” page 4

From interviewee Sally Turbitt:

Steph Piper at the University of Southern Queensland’s makerspace utilized her excellent connections with local suppliers and businesses and began printing face shields early on in the pandemic. Auckland University of Technology Library’s makerspace created these fantastic make-from-home instructional PDFs during the New Zealand lockdown.

The Help Desk by Sophia Guevara, “Wellness While Working at Home,” page 7

Before the pandemic, you might have visited the company exercise room or gone to a gym close to home or work. Now, some are staying away from these places even if they’ve reopened. If you’re one of those people, [this article has] a few apps you may want to try that can help you achieve your wellness goals.

Insider’s Perspective, “Knowledge Graphs: The Next Revolution in Scientific Publishing” by Dave Davis, page 18

By using a knowledge graph that includes research articles on COVID-19, SARS, and MERS—as well as additional articles from open research datasets such as CORD-19 and curated hubs such as LitCovid—editors can have a visually clear and accurate view of all of the authors who have published relevant articles and the publications their articles have been published in.

In Other Words by Lauree Padgett, “By the Numbers,” page 22

The [Computers in Libraries] article “Collaborating to Close the Digital Divide” [begins] with a question: “Does the digital divide still exist?” The answer is yes, according to its authors. … And as a result of the pandemic, it has gotten worse. …

Post-Pandemic Content Strategies” by Phil Britt, page 30

With vaccinations starting to have some success in tamping down the COVID-19 pandemic, people working on content creation in or with the information industry are looking at what they see as their best monetization strategies for the changing economy. [This article shares] some of their plans and advice for other industry stakeholders.

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “Where to Turn When Launching a Small Business,” page 34

About a year ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. The federal, state, and/or local shutdowns that followed promised to only be for a few weeks, at most. But weeks turned into months, and months turned into what is simply known as 2020. The American workforce would never be the same again.

Content Clarity by Marianne Kay, “Hiring Digital Teams Remotely,” page 36

It’s a sad truth that a number of industries were badly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, but digital jobs continue to be in high demand. Some companies laid off staffers, but many others reviewed their priorities and started 2021 with an increased focus on their web presence and online sales.

Let’s Get Strategic by Linda Pophal, “A Look at Influencer Marketing Strategy in 2021,” page 38

“The majority of businesses struggling the most from COVID-19 are small or local brands, as they typically have a limited reach,” [Jacob Dayan, CEO and co-founder of Community Tax and FinancePal,] says. “Micro-influencers are more affordable and can have just as much of an impact.”

May 2021 IT coverMAY 2021

Editor’s Note by Brandi Scardilli, “Libraries: Days of Future Past,” page 1

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have become a little obsessed with the future since the pandemic began. When will the vaccines get here? (Answered!) When can we stop wearing masks everywhere? When will our lives look more like they did pre-2020? What will COVID-19 prevention look like once the pandemic ends? (All up in the air.)

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “Planning Ahead for the Community,” page 4

From interviewee Fallon Spangler:

I think the hardest part for our community was losing physical access to the collection; people struggled not being able to browse the shelves themselves, which I completely understand as it’s a big part of the experience. On the flip side, while the collection was closed, we provided a select-and-collect service and received a lot of feedback from surprised people saying they enjoyed the staff picks!

The Next Normal: The Post-Pandemic Future of Library Services” by Dave Shumaker, page 14

Everyone is beginning to imagine—and plan for—the post-pandemic future. What will it be like? When it comes to library services, it’s hard to think that we’ll simply return to prepandemic business as usual. Instead of a return to the old normal, or even a new normal, we may experience “the next normal.”

In Other Words by Lauree Padgett, “How to Ensure Positive Virtual Communications,” page 22

The articles I’ve highlighted in this issue are from the March/April Marketing Library Services (MLS) newsletter and the April/May issue of Streaming Media (SM). The MLS How-To article addresses a question that librarians may have been grappling with, especially during COVID-19.

NewsBytes, page 23

Kudos published “Brave New World: Scholarly Information After COVID,” a study that explores how COVID-19 has affected scholarly communication.

Legal Issues by George H. Pike, “20 Years of Legal Issues,” page 24

The COVID-19 pandemic has put additional focus on [a] nearly 20-year-old copyright law, the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act. It was introduced in March 2001 and enacted the next year.

Database Review by Mick O’Leary, “LISEP Launches TRU Data,” page 28

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the U.S. unemployment rate in February 2021 was 6.2%. This rate is down from a COVID-era high of 14.7% in April 2020 and is close to the last pre-COVID rate of 4.4% from March 2020.

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “A Woman’s Guide to Starting a Business,” page 34

According to some experts, finding new ways to make money while navigating the pandemic has been top of mind for many previously working women and moms. This has prompted a renewed interest in business ownership.

Content Clarity by Marianne Kay, “How to Choose the Best Web CMS,” page 36

[T]he need for digital excellence came into sharp focus, and the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital products by 7 years, according to a recent McKinsey & Co. survey. …

Let’s Get Strategic by Linda Pophal, “Beyond TOFU, MOFU, BOFU: What Does a Buyer’s Journey Look Like?” page 38

“Even before the pandemic, the way people research and make purchase decisions changed more in the past decade than it had in generations,” [Joshua Feinberg, a certified content marketing strategist and revenue growth consultant for small business CEOs and a strategic advisor to SP Home Run,] says. The COVID-19 lockdown “brought another decade of digital transformation in a matter of months.”

June 2021 IT coverJUNE 2021

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “Celebrating Our Collections,” page 4

From interviewee Stephanie Anderson:

[Right now], the big trend is finding ways to continue to increase access to digital collections, as many patrons can’t access our physical collections. And even when conditions change and more folks are able to come back to the physical library, this is likely to continue.

International Report by John Charlton, “Catching Up With the European Book Market,” page 24

On the face of it, doom and gloom are the order of the day for Europe’s COVID-hit book market—and yet, a recent report provides some straws for bibliophiles to clutch at.

The Help Desk by Sophia Guevara, “Helpful Tools for Working Remotely,” page 29

Are you currently working at home? If so, you may be looking for solutions that will help you improve your communication and the ability to make the most of your time during the day. Here are some resources.

Avoiding a Public Health Hunger Games: The Role for Libraries” by Amy Affelt, page 31

Libraries of all types need to prepare a playbook plan now so that they can take the lead in public health emergencies going forward and be seen as an obvious resource—and not just an afterthought.

Let’s Get Strategic by Linda Pophal, “Aligning Marketing and Sales: Why It’s Important and How to Do It,” page 38

The world is changing, and buyer behavior is as well. That was true before the pandemic, but the pandemic has caused buyer behavior to shift enormously, as in-person interactions have been limited or halted entirely.

July/August 2021 IT coverJULY/AUGUST 2021

Legal Issues by George H. Pike, “Countries Seek IP Waiver for COVID Vaccines,” page 24

The global COVID-19 pandemic has impacted both worldwide trade and IP rights on an unprecedented scale. A critical issue that has emerged in recent months is the proposed waiver of IP rights for COVID vaccines and other products during the duration of the outbreak.

Database Review by Mick O’Leary, “COVID-19 Hammers Gender Gap Progress,” page 28

The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed women more than men. This is the experience of millions of people worldwide, as well as the findings of manifold reports from journalists, researchers, and think tanks of all sorts.

Maryland’s 2021 Library Digital Content Law: A Modest Beginning” by Michael Blackwell and Carmi Parker, page 31

[T]he 2020 COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns made physical materials inaccessible and created an unprecedented demand for digital lending. While some publishers eased license terms during the pandemic, such mitigation is temporary.

September 2021 IT coverSEPTEMBER 2021

“OverDrive Acquires Kanopy, While Amazon Deals With DPLA: The Ethical Impacts of Digital Library Resource Consolidation” by Jessica Hilburn, page 16

Although the pandemic is still raging across the nation, libraries are opened back up and struggling to decide where funds should be prioritized—online or in person.

“When Health Information Is Life-or-Death” by Anthony Aycock, page 19

No one should distrust professionals. Distrust is how we ended up with people not wearing face masks, not getting vaccines, shooting up with hydroxychloroquine, and making death threats against Anthony Fauci. But we shouldn’t blindly trust them.

International Report by John Charlton, “The Latest EU Copyright Infringement Cases,” page 26

Details of Israeli book publishing in 2020 have been provided in a report by the National Library of Israel (NLI). … About 70 COVID-related books were published in 2020; 25 of them were for children.

Database Review by Mick O’Leary, “Follow the Money With Visual Capitalist and,” page 28[’s] coverage of COVID-19 across 2020 and 2021 includes a dozen infographics that deal with a range of financial responses and effects.

Supply Chain Disruption: What Is ‘The New Toilet Paper’?” by Amy Affelt, page 30

COVID-19 has taken commodity prices and availability on a roller coaster ride that is only in the nascent stages of its journey.

October 2021 IT coverOCTOBER 2021

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “The Lifeline to the Community,” page 4

From interviewee Christie Clarke:

Since March 2020, we have suspended in-person programming, so we have had to reimagine how to provide these programs, if at all. For example, in the fall, I offered one combined storytime in the local park down the street.

We the People, “What’s in a Name?” by Dave Shumaker, page 6

At a recent professional meeting, I was dismayed to find myself witnessing yet another discussion on whether those present should call themselves “librarians.” The program that hosted this discussion opened with the observation that library spaces are shrinking in the post-pandemic world and the question of whether the participants might stop calling themselves librarians if they no longer work “in a [physical] library.”

In Other Words by Lauree Padgett, “Libraries Changing With the Times,” page 22

The EDTECH feature from the September issue of Computers in Libraries and the Technology & Power column from the September/October issue of Online Searcher both deal with how libraries are evolving in our constantly changing world, whether they are responding to a global pandemic or to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

NewsBytes, page 23

The Boston Globe introduced a special section, The Last Best Shot, which aims to educate people about the COVID-19 vaccine via an editorial from The Globe’s editorial board, stories from healthcare and metro reporters, and a series of data visualizations.

November/December 2021 IT coverNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

Editor’s Note by Brandi Scardilli, “Year-End Topics,” page 1

As 2021 comes to a close, COVID is still with us, anti-racism education is as important as ever, and what entities rule the internet continues to be a contentious issue. These topics will continue to be important in 2022, it seems, but, hopefully, the pandemic will well and truly be considered over by the end of next year.

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “The Dynamic Duo of Burlington, Part 1,” page 4

From interviewee Mary Danko:

We were feeling really great for a while this summer. Vermont has an 85%-plus vaccination rate, our case count was low, and we have had a fabulous summer of stellar library programming that took place outside. Patrons have definitely been coming back, and it has been so wonderful to see them. However, currently, the delta variant has been causing a sharp rise in cases.

Insider’s Perspective, “What We’re Getting Wrong About Digital Transformation” by Carl Robinson, page 8

Rather than speaking about digital transformation, we should speak about digital evolution. … With this mindset, we (and our organizations) maintain a state of readiness that prepares us for cataclysmic events.

The Help Desk by Sophia Guevara, “Preparing for a Virtual Interview,” page 11

Due to the pandemic, all aspects of the way we work and connect have been affected. This includes changing the way hiring managers interview job candidates. Virtual interviews are here to stay.

In Other Words by Lauree Padgett, “Dreams of Stream,” page 22

[Dom] Robinson’s piece, “The Roaring—and Streaming—’20s,” is something I think we can all relate to. … Robinson says he was ready for real to replace virtual, to slip away from the screen and step into a music venue after a year-and-a-half’s absence.

NewsBytes, page 23

McGraw Hill released the results of a survey of teachers, administrators, and parents titled “2021 Social and Emotional Learning Report.” … More than 84% of teachers think SEL has become more important since the start of the pandemic. …

International Report by John Charlton, “Tracking the Progress of OA in Europe,” page 28

The ups and downs of publishing during a pandemic were recently revealed in the U.K. Publishers Association’s 2020 Yearbook.

Database Review by Mick O’Leary, “The COVID States Project: Thoughts and Actions in the Pandemic,” page 30

The COVID States Project [is] a multi-university partnership that conducts regular large-scale surveys on U.S. public opinion and behavior on key aspects of the pandemic.

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “Five Sites for Upskilling and Reskilling,” page 38

Plenty of companies have felt safe in allowing employees to return to the office under stringent guidelines. But many of those workers no longer want to return to the workplace, choosing to work from home when possible. When that isn’t an option, a number of people are trying to figure out their next career move.

PAGE: 1 2 3 4

Brandi Scardilli is the editor of NewsBreaks and Information Today.

Email Brandi Scardilli

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