Learning Resources: Still Working For You – Associate Director of Learning Resources – Collections

Not Home Alone

So, let’s cover off the domestic situation first: managed to get daughter and granddaughter on the plane to Vancouver before it became almost impossible to do so. Youngest son is home from Liverpool Uni and wondering what his Year 2 exam regime is going to look like. We compare notes on how Liverpool University library is doing for students in this extreme period versus what we are doing here in the library at Brookes. Pretty even so far I reckon. Wife and middle son work at the same company and earlier this week, one went down the furlough route and the other stayed working. Takes a bit of pressure off the internet capacity, especially as I was getting some pretty serious stick  when it seemed my Hangout meetings were taking too much of the bandwidth, and their access to work systems ground to a halt.

I’m tending to move around during the day, working from different places, following the warmth of the sun, better light or just seeking a change of scene. Starting to develop a crick in the neck from poor posture and laptop on the lap – very bad practice which I will need to change soon if I am to avoid problems. Getting out for a walk every evening, and the garage has become a crude gym. The dog is just so happy to have everyone around all the time.

A new form of Open Access has emerged in response to the pandemic, whereby just about all content providers have extended access to their e-resources, for library customers, without charge and for a defined period. I say just about all, since it seems we’ve heard little from some of the more corporate services who supply academic libraries – you know who you are. We are taking advantage of these extensions where we can and will soon have a virtual library as never before and presumably never again. Ironically, I hope we don’t enjoy these riches for too long! Opportunities emerge in times of crisis and for those in the scholarly and academic ebook space, this is one such time. The likely removal of VAT from ebooks allied to increased usage and acceptance will surely lead to significant uptake when we come out of our bunkers, triggering further investment in the technologies to make them more user friendly for all. 

Paul Harwood

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