We had just cancelled our annual conference due to COVID-19 and we were at a loss – how could we support our members and the library and information sector across Wales in these extraordinary times?
At the same time, we were worried that the strange and diverse lives we were all experiencing would quickly be forgotten once life returned to ‘normal’.
We decided to invite our colleagues from across Wales and beyond to tell us about their lives right now – during COVID-19 – so that we can build a record of librarianship across the country. We want stories and photos from school libraries, further and higher education libraries, public librarians, knowledge managers, library consultants and freelancers, and of course, NHS librarians. What are data and systems librarians, and special collections and records experts doing? We want to hear from people who work with publishers, people who work with users, and people who work with managers who hold the purse strings.
We would like to invite you all to register – tell us a little bit about yourself and your organisation and select your privacy choice (you can either share your stories publicly or submit to our private archive). We will post and promote a different topic each week for 10 weeks. Feel free to respond to one, some or all the topics, at the time, in one go or after the crisis is over. All contributions are valuable, however big or small. We will keep the material accessible while there is interest.
We hope that each story, perhaps small by itself, will contribute to a wider picture which can be used in the future to learn from. We’ll see how our profession works when tested in this extreme way and as well as facing some difficult truths, perhaps we will also find some inspiration…