This week on the SLIC blog City of Glasgow College Library staff talk about their experiences during lockdown, returning to the college and the changes they have made to their service.
During lockdown the library operated an online service and has since started operating a reduced physical service which includes Click & Collect and book return services.
‘When the college closed in March to ensure the safety of our staff and students, our library team started work almost immediately on how a physically distanced service would operate.
‘It’s been challenging to say the least. We’re very used to the hustle and bustle of our college libraries and believing in the main ethos of a library - to welcome one, welcome all and offer a diverse and multi-functional library service.
'Since August we have been operating a reduced physical service and the team are all on a learning curve to see what we can offer online too. I’m incredibly lucky to work with such a bunch of natural problem solvers!’
‘I finally stepped foot in the City Campus library in mid-August after starting my job here at the beginning of April.
'Upon reflection, the four months of working from home was a useful time to become familiar with aspects of the library that I probably wouldn’t have seen for a while otherwise.
'It’s been a real learning experience getting involved in the digital behind-the-scenes goings on of the library.
‘That said it’s wonderful to be in the physical library and working with some of my colleagues here. I’m reminded how much I love libraries and after so much time spent at home I’m so happy to be able to peruse the fabulous collection here. I’m looking forward to the library getting busier and seeing the campus as it begins to open up.’
‘Working in City of Glasgow College after the lockdown has been an unusual and slightly surreal experience. I must make sure I'm wearing my face mask, and the day begins with me having my temperature taken on entering the College's City Campus.
‘I work in a 'bubble' in the library with three other members of staff, Jenny, Sarah and Brenda, and it has been good to work in person with others, and I have enjoyed getting a 'feel' for being on campus after months of home working. The college is very quiet at the moment with a small number of students using our services to return items, 'click and collect’, or book study spaces, but I expect that will change once students' courses get into full swing.
‘All the time I am mindful of following the one-way systems and adhering to the guidelines and restrictions that we now operate in during these 'Covid times'. Our friendly 'bubble' is working well together, and we are prepared and looking forward to welcoming our new and returning students to the library.’
‘It has now been two years since I started work at COGC Libraries. Up until the lockdown, I had always worked at City Campus. After five months of exclusively remote working, I am back on site, but to Riverside Campus this time. Going from City to working from home, and then to Riverside with new library rules and Covid-adapted services has been an unexpected trajectory.
‘This year’s pandemic has put the whole library team on a steep learning, adaptation and resilience curve. Like everyone else, I felt anxious at first, when we moved from an essentially front-facing service to staffing an exclusively online service from home, on such a short notice. But then, we got organised and I became used to working from home and getting online training, establishing a new routine.
‘When I was told I was going back on site, to Riverside Campus, I was a bit worried at first because I was unfamiliar with the campus. On my first day back it felt a bit like starting a different job because of the new location and operational rules. But I got the hang of it very quickly, even if now and then, I am still unsure where to find things in the cupboards. I am grateful to my friendly colleague Sharon, who had worked on split sites, both at City and Riverside campuses before the lockdown, and who helped me find my feet in a work environment new to me.
‘This change has turned out to be a positive learning experience. The collection at Riverside is quite different from City Campus since it is focused on nautical studies and marine engineering. The course designs and patterns are also different, so I am gaining valuable new experience.’