A systematic review of library services provision in response to COVID-19 pandemic


Libraries have had to temporarily shut their doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in the provision of online and remote services. This review analyzed services offered by libraries, technological tools used, and the challenges facing libraries in a global pandemic. This study employed a systematic literature review, following the PRISMA protocol (Moher et al., 2009). Building Blocks search strategy was employed to search for keywords of concepts in Library and Information Science Abstract (LISA), Library and Information Science Technology Abstract (LISTA), Library Science Database, Web of Science core collections and Google Scholar. A set of inclusion and exclusion criteria was pre-determined by the authors prior to database searching. The first set of searches produced 3,499 results. After we removed duplicates, and applied inclusion/exclusion criteria, 23 articles were finally selected for the synthesis. The included studies were conducted in the United States of America (26%), India (17%), and China (9%) and several other countries. Findings show that libraries are providing and expanding access to electronic resources, increasing open access resources, assisting in virtual education, and bolstering public health safety through health literacy. More so, libraries are supporting research efforts of faculty and students, as well as engaging in virtual reference services, among others. Libraries are harnessing educational, social networking and communication technologies, but limited in their financial capabilities. This study provides an overview of the ways libraries have responded to the challenges posed by a global pandemic, and hence will be of use and interest to all librarians especially those in health and academic sectors.

Apr 28, 2021 4:45 PM
Philips Ayeni
Philips Ayeni
School of Information Studies, McGill University

Je suis doctorant en études de l’information. Mes recherches portent sur l’évaluation des pratiques de communication savante en libre accès des chercheurs au Canada. En tant que président actuel de la Section étudiante de l’Association des sciences et technologies de l’information (ASIS&T) de McGill, je suis heureux de mettre à profit mes expériences d’organisation d’événements dans la planification de ce symposium.

I am a PhD Candidate in Information Studies. My research focuses on assessing open access scholarly communication practices of researchers in Canada. As the current Chair for the McGill Student Chapter of Association for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T), I am pleased to bring my events organization experiences to bear in planning for this symposium.