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Pandemic Resources for Academic Libraries: Distance Education and Engagement

Updated information, professional development, and resources to support academic and research library personnel during a pandemic.

ACRL Standards for Distance Learning Library Services

All students, faculty members, administrators, staff members, or any other members of an institution of higher education are entitled to the library services and resources of that institution, including direct communication with the appropriate library personnel, regardless of where they are physically located in relation to the campus; where they attend class in relation to the institution’s main campus; or the modality by which they take courses. Academic libraries must, therefore, meet the information and research needs of all these constituents, wherever they may be. This principle of access entitlement, as applied to individuals at a distance, is the undergirding and uncompromising conviction of the ACRL Standards for Distance Learning Library Services.

Standards for Distance Learning Library Services

Standards for Distance Learning Library Services Worksheet (.XLSX)

Standards for Distance Learning Library Services Infographic (.pdf) (.jpg) (.png)

ACRL Distance Learning Section Instruction Committee: Instructional Design for Distance Librarians

Recording of the November 19, 2019, ACRL Distance Learning Section Instruction Committee: Instructional Design for Distance Librarians, with speaker Amanda Ziegler.

Virtual Meeting Software

Below are some virtual meeting and webinar software examples to facilitate virtual meetings and connections.

Additional Outside Resources

Further Reading

Free Webcast Series: Academic Librarianship in the Wake of the Coronavirus

Free Webcast Series: Academic Librarianship in the Wake of the Coronavirus

Below are upcoming and recordings of free ACRL Presents webcasts covering topics directly related to online instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Upcoming Webcasts

Evaluating Online Library Learning
Live webcast Wednesday, April 1, 1pm Central Time

As many libraries shift to supporting patrons remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, how programs and services are evaluated also changes, but getting good data is still essential. Learn about how Project Outcome can help support your work and hear from public and academic librarians with lots of experience supporting online learning.

Register for free here!


Quickly Implementing Accessibility Tools
Live webcast Friday, April 3, 1pm Central Time

Everyone is working and learning online right now. We need to ensure what we create and share is accessible to everyone. This presentation and Q&A will discuss the legal and ethical standards for making courses and learning objects accessible. We will also share some free tools for the generation of new material and retrofitting previously created content.

Register for free here!


Managing Remote Workers
Live webcast Tuesday, April 7, 1 pm Central Time

Join Martin House, Assistant Director for Public Services at Central Piedmont Community College and incoming chair of ACRL’s Community and Junior College Libraries Section, and Cinthya Ippoliti, University Librarian and Director of the Auraria Library at University of Colorado Denver and Director-at-Large on ACRL’s Board of Directors, for tips, strategies, and discussion on effective ways to manage a suddenly remote library workforce.  

Register for free here!


Webcast Recordings

Tips for Suddenly Switching to Online Reference Services
March 27, 2020, 1pm Central Time
K-State Libraries' main library had a fire on May 22, 2018. They suddenly lost access to millions of physical resources and could no longer deliver in-person services. During this facilitated discussion, their Head of Library User Services, Head of Special Collections, and Interlibrary Services Coordinator will share what they did then and are now doing again to maintain reference services and to help connect patrons to information resources that would have previously been delivered in-person. Learn tips to help you maintain online reference and access services during this unprecedented time.

Copyright for Campus Closures: Exploring the Copyright Issues around Moving Instruction and Reference Online
March 20, 2020, 1:00pm CT
This presentation and Q&A session with Sara R. Benson, copyright librarian at the University of Illinois iSchool and editor of ACRL’s Copyright Conversations: Rights Literacy in a Digital World, provides information on and answer your questions about the copyright issues involved in rapidly moving your instruction and reference online.


Pandemic Pedagogy: Resources for Library Instruction at a Distance
March 18, 2020
This ACRL Presents webcast features a facilitated conversation about tools, resources, and strategies for shifting information literacy to support remote teaching and learning presented by Jenn Kelley, Associate Professor/Reference Librarian at the College of DuPage.


Information Literacy at a (Social) Distance: Strategies for Moving Online
March 17, 2020
Is your campus closing due to COVID-19? In this webcast, Melissa Wong presents a crash course in moving your library instruction online. Melissa addresses options for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, discusses how to engage students in active learning while online, and provides a short list of best practices.