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Alliance Coronavirus/COVID-19 Response Information

As our member libraries grapple with the current global coronavirus pandemic, the Alliance will remain responsive and supportive as possible through any restrictions your library may face. At the same time, we are also working to be as conscientious as possible about not putting our staff or others at risk for disease transmission.

We are actively monitoring coronavirus/COVID-19 activity and response information from a variety of sources, locally, nationally via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and in the libraries we serve. We will continue serving member libraries to the greatest extent possible during this situation. 

EDUCAUSE has a page that focuses on COVID-19 and its implications for higher education institutions.

If you have questions about this or other Alliance information, please continue to contact us through established means, and we will respond as quickly as possible.

We will update the information below as often as possible as the situation evolves.


Information by Topic


Safe Handling of Materials

The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has provided recommendations on disinfecting circulating books in library collections.

Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections Webinar recording
Dr. David Berendes and Dr. Catherine Rasberry from the Centers for Disease Control presented an overview of the CDC’s guidance for community settings and environmental disinfection, and a discussion of how libraries, archives, and museums can help mitigate COVID-19 when working with paper-based, circulating, and other types of collections.  The presentation was followed by a question and answer period.  Please note you will need to register to watch the webinar.


Summit Resource Sharing

Orbis Cascade Alliance Council has voted to suspend Summit service Alliance-wide on March 23, 2020.

The Council also voted to support leniency for due dates and fines. 

Lori Hilterbrand will be working with the Resource Sharing & Fulfillment community to implement both decisions, and will send instructions to members on local steps for suspending Summit. Prior to March 23, we will shut down the rota and work with our courier vendor on temporary storage arrangements for materials.

The Resource Sharing & Fulfillment Team and the Alliance Board will be monitoring conditions closely to determine an appropriate plan for reinstating Summit service. At this time, we anticipate the suspension will last at least two weeks. 

Affiliate members will be making the decision to suspend/resume service at the local level. 


Additional Summit resources

Summit and library operations status spreadsheet - Please contact Lori Hilterbrand at lhilterbrand@orbiscascade.org or 541-246-2471 if you need to update information on this document. This will be our document of record. We are aware that other online locations are encouraging libraries to register their changes due to COVID-19. Members are welcome to use those registries, but should keep in mind that they are not managed or monitored by Alliance staff. Please continue to report changes to Lori for inclusion in the official Alliance registry.

Closures

1. The rota - if your institution is set to close and that closure will be for longer than 5 days, I will need to remove your library from the rota. Please let me know with as much warning as you can so I can plan to pull you out gracefully and not leave any requests hanging. This is true for all closures, not only in this circumstance. If I remove an institution from the rota, I will let you all know as quickly as I can.


2. The courier - if your library will be closed, even if that closure is only one day, please use the dropsite closure report form. Remember that the courier delivers as well as picking up so even if you have no outgoing packages, you need to let them know not to come as they might be trying to deliver. Let them know as far in advance as you can, and be as specific as possible about when they should resume service.


3. Fines - when a library closes, especially for several days at a time, concern often builds among patrons about their due and overdue materials. Fines issues are handled at the local level and best practices for dealing with patron overdue charges are being discussed at the leadership level, and will be shared as soon as possible.


4. Notifications - depending on your decisions for due date handling, fines and fees, if you feel that disabling your overdue notices (or any other notices) during your closure would be advantageous, this is done in the configuration menu of Alma in the General tab. Let me know if I can be of assistance in helping you accomplish this.


5. Returned materials - materials returned at the borrowing library for a lending library that is closed may present unique challenges. As we don”t yet have any libraries closed, I just want you to know that we are developing contingency plans for case-by-case handling of materials for closed libraries. More on this if it becomes necessary.



E-Resource Access

Alliance ER staff will work with consortial content providers (as needed; please contact us) where access has user limits or other restrictions, and ask them to increase or remove those limits when institutions have moved courses online due to COVID-19 concerns.

Additional information regarding Alliance e-resources can be found on the Shared Content page.

  • An overview of the Alliance shared ebook collection is here.
    • ER password required. Please contact us if you need credentials.
    • Publishers include:
      • NEW! Cambridge STM EBA (~10,000 titles now available; 1919-present!)
      • Oxford OSO (frontlist, 2016- )
      • PQ Academic Complete and University Presses (subscriptions)
      • PQ DDA (legacy 2014-17)
      • T&F EBA (pilot 2017-18)
      • Wiley UCBM (transitioning to frontlist for 2021)
  • Open Access ebook collections that can be activated in the Alma Community Zone (CZ):
    • JSTOR Books Open Access
    • Project Muse Open Access Books
    • SpringerLink Open Access eBooks
    • DOAB Directory of Open Access Books
  • EBSCO and ProQuest are automatically upgrading ebook access to unlimited for titles from participating publishers that your library (or the Alliance) already owns. (No additional steps required for upgrade.)
    • Note: This expanded access does not include any unownedtitles.
    • ProQuest has provided a list of the temporarily upgraded titles that will be linked from our PQ ebook page for reference. (Added 04/01/20)
  • Trial access to the ACS Guide to Scholarly Communication has been extended for Alliance participants through June 30.
  • A crowd-sourced list of free resources compiled by consortia: Vendor Love in the Time of COVID-19.
    • Note: This content is not prepared or maintained by the Alliance.


Events

Recorded events:

  • Electronic Resources in Libraries (ER&L) sessions from the March 7-10, 2020 conference are now available for free online. See the Online Conference Logistics page to access the content.

Canceled events:

  • SRU Workshop at WSU Pullman, March 17. (Workshop will be rescheduled for a date TBD.)

  • Portland Library Symposium on ER Accessibility (hosted by PSU and sponsored by PQ) originally scheduled for March 19 has been cancelled rescheduled for September 17.

  • OLA 2020 - Originally scheduled 4/29-5/2 has been cancelled.
Events with uncertain status that Alliance staff are monitoring:

  • ELUNA - currently scheduled for May 3-8 in Los Angeles, CA. (ELUNA information page)

  • Archives & Manuscripts Service Annual Meeting - May 22, Portland, OR.

  • Summer program days and Council meetings.

Alliance Team and Group Meetings: Please communicate with your Team/Group chair if you cannot attend.


Remote Work Resources

The Remote Work Tips, Tricks, and Resources document is a shared space for remote work tips, tricks and resources from Alliance and member staff.  Please contact Lesley Lowery (llowery@orbiscascade.org) if you'd like to add resources to this document.



Council Resources

The COVID-19 Resources for Alliance Council page is password-protected; please contact Elizabeth Duell if you are a council member and do not have the password.


Please contact Elizabeth Duell with questions. She can be contacted via email at eduell@orbiscascade.org or by phone at 541-246-2470.