How Library Staff are Supporting our Communities during COVID-19

As Dean Kris Brancolini noted in her video message this month, we have all been asked to make monumental changes in how we work, how we teach, and how we learn, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the William H. Hannon Library, we’ve adapted in a number of ways and taken on new projects and approaches in order to support our community. Here are just a few of the things our staff have been up to in March 2020.

Marisa Ramirez (Processing Assistant)

“I’ve been searching my personal Google Photos account for any images of archival material that I’ve processed or come across (I have a habit of taking pics of interesting items). This week, I was able to provide our instruction librarian, Rachel Wen-Paloutzian, with some images of a manuscript collection being used by one of her classes that is now working on an assignment at home.”

Marisa's google images
Images from Marisa’s photo archive that include items from Special Collections

Darlene Aguilar and Aisha Conner-Gaten (Instructional Design Librarians)

“We are currently producing instructional videos to help patrons navigate databases and access online services. Video topics include how to use e-books, finding full text, finding media and films, and how to download LMU software. These videos will be added to the library’s YouTube page.”

Rachel Wen-Paloutzian (Archives and Special Collections Instruction Librarian)

“We love hands-on learning with rare materials in Archives and Special Collections. While in this hiatus with in-person class visits, I am creating digital packets to engage students with our unique collections. Until that glorious day when students will touch and marvel at intricate netsuke in the Hannon Library again.”

Mythological netsuke from Archives and Special Collections
Mythological netsuke from Archives and Special Collections.

Ray Andrade (Student Engagement Librarian)

Ray has been meeting with the Chicano Latino Student Services community and other student groups in Zoom to make sure everyone’s library needs are met.

Walt Walker (Head Cataloging Librarian)

“I’m continuing to work on creating records in the LINUS catalog for the new books we’ve received, improving the quality of the catalog records by fixing mistakes and adding more information, and supervising staff doing similar work through online meetings and email. So there will be many new books on the shelves when our LMU students and faculty return to the Library, and they will be even easier to discover!”

Walt working at home
Walt Walker working at home

Nicole Murph (Reference Assistant)

“I had thirteen work study students this past semester. Due to the escalating changes resulting from COVID-19 these past two weeks, I’ve been keeping my students updated on anything that affected them, especially relating to their work schedules and pay. Some of my students contacted me expressing appreciation being kept updated and receiving clarification where needed, especially during a confusing time such as COVID-19 pandemic. My focus is to ensure that everyone is on the same page, but also be informed and updated.”

Cynthia Becht (Head, Archives and Special Collections)

“For me, it all started with Melanie Hubbard reaching out because she knows I sew. She’d heard from Julia Lee (English Department), whose sister is a doctor, that they’re in dire need of cotton masks to wear over their n95 masks. So a tiny group of us has formed a supply chain (one of many sewing-from-home brigades) to produce these masks.”

pictures of cloth masks being made
Cynthia and her family are sewing masks for nurses