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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 2023 IT cover


“The Monster at the End of This Life: A Librarian’s Guide to Eschatology” by Anthony Aycock, page 14

Developed in 2017, the Pandemic and Epidemic-Prone Diseases self-paced online course from the World Health Organization naturally doesn’t include COVID-19. … This course goes back to foundational principles about epidemiology. It’s intended for frontline workers, but if the last 2 years have taught us anything, it’s that everyone should know this stuff. After all, COVID didn’t destroy the world—but something else might.

Taking the Temperature of a Profession: Libraries in 2023” by Brandi Scardilli, page 20

There has been much talk of the existence of a new normal since the pandemic began, because libraries have had to pivot and adjust in many different ways. We aren’t sure how things will look as the world continues to emerge from COVID’s grip; from conversations I’ve had, I’d say there’s a new normal in some ways, but a back-to-normal situation is more common.

International Report by John Charlton, “#ebooksSOS Campaign Aims to Ensure Fair Ebook Terms and Practices,” page 28

“[P]art of the paper production capacities in Europe [are] shifting from graphic paper to cardboard, which is cheaper to produce at scale, leaving even less capacities for book printing. This has been especially the case since the pandemic, as people have been relying more and more on online marketplaces, thus increasing the demand for cardboard and as a consequence driving up the price of paper all-together,” says Federation of European Publishers director Anne Bergman-Tahon.

March 2023 IT coverMARCH 2023

We the People, “Tales From the Library Trenches, 6 Years Later” by Justin Hoenke, page 6

Among all things political, all things dramatic, and all things pandemic, librarians are still the poster children for the “we really, really, really care about our work” movement—and in my opinion, this is a great thing.

APRIL 2023

April 2023 IT coverThe Latest Pew Research Center Reports” by Brandi Scardilli, page 17

The Feb. 6, 2023, [Pew Research Center] report, “Economy Remains the Public’s Top Policy Priority; COVID-19 Concerns Decline Again,” finds that while strengthening the economy is still the public’s first priority … people say it’s … less important to deal with COVID-19 (26% this year versus 60% in 2022).

What It’s Like to Run a Library TikTok” by Justin Hoenke, page 24

From interviewee Bailey Randolph:

I used to be the teen librarian at the Grande Prairie Public Library, and during the COVID closure, I was trying to find new ways to reach my teen patrons. Instagram was OK, but a lot of the teens were telling me we needed to get a TikTok account.

International Report by John Charlton, “The Use of AI in Digitization,” page 29

A recent report in authoritative U.K. publication The Bookseller says that sales of ebooks in the U.K. were at 43.6 million in 2022, the lowest since 2017. Ebook sales peaked during the pandemic and associated lockdowns, hitting 54.7 million units in 2020.

Let’s Get Strategic by Linda Pophal, “Events and Event Planning in a Post-Pandemic World,” page 35

Live events have been re-emerging, but event planners are approaching the process differently from how they have in the past.

May 2023 IT coverMAY 2023

We the People, “Blurred Boundaries and Records Resilience: How COVID-19 Changed Records Management” by Kurt Brenneman, page 6

On May 4, 2020, a group of leading memory organizations around the world … called for the perseverance of good records management by governments, schools, research institutions, and businesses in a statement titled “COVID-19: The Duty to Document Does Not Cease in a Crisis, It Becomes More Essential.”

Database Review by Mick O’Leary, “Realtime Inequality Highlights U.S. Economic Stratification,” page 30

Realtime Inequality’s granular quarterly update cycle provides insights that longer time frames overlook, as demonstrated by the frantic COVID-19 rollercoaster period from spring 2020 to the end of 2022. All economic groups experienced a sudden drop in income during the first year of COVID, followed by a recovery to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2022.

June 2023 IT coverJUNE 2023

Librarians as Second Responders: A Guide to Mental Health Resources for Librarians” by Patti Gibbons, page 16

In response to the acute levels of stress related to the pandemic, IFLA’s Continuing Professional Development and Workforce Learning Section and New Professionals Special Interest Group sponsored Wellness for Librarians: Resources and Examples, a webinar for “exhausted library workers serving exhausted library patrons. …”

Legal Issues by George H. Pike, “The Death of Controlled Digital Lending?” page 26

During the pandemic, many public and academic libraries were closed, and their physical book collections were not available to patrons. The Internet Archive responded by “creating” what it called the National Emergency Library. Creating is in quotes because, essentially, the Internet Archive lifted the controls that enforced its loaned-to-owned policy and allowed thousands of users to simultaneously access a particular ebook.

July/August 2023 IT coverJULY/AUGUST 2023

A Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “Inspire, Influence, and Include,” page 4

From interviewee Hillary Ostlund:

[T]aking the director role at [Hillsboro Library during] the height of the pandemic and seeing the toll everything took on people has been so challenging to manage—I’m a fixer, and I can’t fix much of what is happening, so that’s been hard personally and professionally.

How Libraries Help Patrons Go on Vacation” by Brandi Scardilli, page 19

Wake County Public Libraries in North Carolina hosted a virtual travel series early in 2023. … [Heidi Barry-Rodriguez, adult services Librarian, says, “]My own satisfaction was helping would-be travelers, many of whom have not traveled for the last three years, with practical information on navigating the saturated and sometimes nutty post-pandemic travel landscape.”

“African Nations’ Options for Free or Low-Cost Access to Research” by David Haden, page 30

According to Alice Prochaska, Book Aid International’s chairperson of the board of trustees, … “The Covid pandemic has closed thousands of classrooms and pushed millions into poverty. … [Donating a] book might seem like a small thing in the fight against inequality—but we see every day how a book can spark a transformation.”

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “Grief Tech Takes End-of-Life Planning to Another Level,” page 35

Sadly, the pandemic has contributed to the rapid growth of the “grief tech” industry. [This article features] a few companies to help you understand how it might work for you and those you love.

September 2023 IT coverSEPTEMBER 2023

International Report by John Charlton, “The Current State of the European Book Market,” page 28

Online sales of print books fell markedly in many European countries between 2021 and 2022. … They were down 20% in Portugal, 4.7% in Italy, 19.9% in the U.K., and 27.5% in Denmark. This is most likely due to COVID restrictions ending.


October 2023 IT coverA Day in the Life by Justin Hoenke, “Respect,” page 4

From interviewee Sherlonya Zobel:

Moving into the associate [library] director role during the disruption that COVID caused has been an interesting change. In some ways, the job has looked very different one year to the next.

Outside the Box by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig, “Giving Seniors the Tools and Support to Embrace Technology,” page 35

I have found that there has been less of a resistance to learning during the past few years; however, many people aren’t sure where to begin (or how to continue) their technological journey.

Nov/Dec 2023 IT coverNOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2023

This issue may not be the last time we mention COVID in the pages of Information Today, but I think it’s a good place to stop this roundup. Stay safe and healthy out there.

PAGE: 1 2 3 4

Brandi Scardilli is the editor of NewsBreaks and Information Today.

Email Brandi Scardilli

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