FY 20 Annual Report

The Health Sciences Library System

COVID-19 Response

Modified Status

FY 20 brought unexpected and unprecedented challenges to HSLS as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the physical library space in March 2020, while almost the entire library staff transitioned to working remotely from home.  Only a few essential personnel remained onsite to make sure that everyone had the technology that they needed and to troubleshoot problems with servers and software.  

Operating Remotely

HSLS librarians and staff pivoted to remote work conditions quickly and successfully. Specialists in technology and knowledge integration services, metadata, and access ensured the HSLS website was seamlessly available, with all resources accessible.   

Instructors began offering in-person classes online shortly after HSLS services were moved remote. The new virtual format brought a sharp increase in attendance to classes, and some instructors noted that department chairs and senior investigators, who usually are unable to attend in person, had the opportunity to join online. 

Answering reference inquiries pivoted seamlessly to email and chat, while advanced inquiries, systematic reviews and research consultations used online conferencing software.  

61 virtual workshops taught to 1,742 attendees

1,836 reference questions answered 

3,264 articles sent to the Pitt and UPMC community 

5,286 documents sent through interlibrary loan to libraries nationwide