IS Lab Patron Update 20S Week 1

By Diana Ascher April 4, 2020
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Dear Patrons,

I hope this email finds you and yours faring relatively well, under these unprecedented circumstances. For many reasons, I write to share with you how the IS Lab aims to serve our community during the Spring and Summer terms. Chief among them is my ardent hope that we all acknowledge our humanity as we contend with this new normal. People manage stress and anxiety with different approaches and varying degrees of success. As frightening and frustrating as the current situation is, each of us will find the rhythm of a routine eventually and devise productive methods to contend with the challenges, limitations, and risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the official closure of UCLA’s campus libraries on Friday, March 20, patrons have been unable to access our physical collections, but there are many digital resources that you may access remotely, including assistance from our IS Lab Staff, as well as our dedicated Information Studies librarian, Diane Mizrachi. Please make sure that you have VPN or proxy set up to access resources from off campus.

Mindful Matters

For those of us who need to take a step back from the chaos to reconnoiter, we’ve created resources that you may find useful when you’re ready to suss out your path forward. Our aim is to curate a collection of resources specific to the concerns and needs of our unique community, available on the IS Lab’s reconfigured and reskinned website (islab.gseis.ucla.edu). When you’re ready, we welcome you to the new instantiation of the IS Lab as a virtual assemblage. In the interim, my Zoom door is always open—if I can be helpful, please let me know.

Practical Concerns

For those of us who find sure footing by attending to pressing practical matters, there are several resources for you to explore. I am happy to report that the IS Lab, conceptually, has metamorphosed into virtual spaces in which the IS Lab Staff members and I may provide:

  • Reference services (register: bit.ly/ISLab-Reference)

    • Supplementary resources to support students’ research and reference needs virtually. Find information on electronic access to journals, databases, ebooks, and research guides, along with recommended resources from IS Lab Staff members.
  • Instructional support (register: bit.ly/ISLab-Teach)

    • Intended for IS faculty and instructors, these resources concern online instruction workflows, information on teaching with Zoom, copyright concerns in the virtual classroom, and more.
  • Training (register: bit.ly/ISLab-Learn)

    • Virtual workshops, tutorials, and how-to guides pertinent to all five specializations in the MLIS Program, as well as professional development and continuing education skills development.
  • Virtual commons (register: bit.ly/ISLab-Community)

    • Intended for IS students to support the ongoing operations of student groups and other student-focused activities during this period of remote instruction. Meetings may be convened in dedicated breakout rooms and students may engage with one another organically, outside the bounds of course-related work. We hope to foster in this virtual space the free exchange of ideas and sense of community that has flourished in the IS Lab’s physical space over the past year and a half.
Alumni engagement

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been in contact with several alumni who have expressed a strong desire to support current students, particularly 2nd-year MLIS students, who may no longer have the opportunity for an internship that will lead to gainful employment. It’s wonderful to feel support from fellow alumni during this unprecedented time. We’re working with LISAA and SGB to create opportunities for engagement, and will update you as soon as we have news to share.

Circulation & due dates

We have extended the due dates for resources borrowed from the IS Lab through June 10, 2020. All fees and fines that would have accrued since March 1, 2020, will be waived; however, items that are lost and not returned will still be assessed replacement fees. Therefore, if you prefer to return items you’ve borrowed, please contact me to arrange for shipping to a secure address.

As part of UCLA’s transition to remote instruction, please take advantage of electronic resources, such as ebooks and article databases. The UCLA community can connect to these online resources from off- campus locations via the VPN or proxy server. Interlibrary loan (ILL) is still available for electronic journal articles; however, ebooks cannot be borrowed via ILL. Due dates for all ILL items currently on loan to UCLA patrons will be extended to June 30, 2020. Currently, UCLA Library is neither sending out, nor receiving, physical ILL materials, focusing instead on requests that can be fulfilled electronically.

Request and Recall functions are now disabled in the Library’s Online Catalog, and replaced with text indicating that the library is closed and that these functions will be re-enabled once normal operations resume. At this point, there is no access to physical collections for patrons nor staff.

For help with any of our resources, please schedule an appointment with a librarian (audio/video Zoom appointments available), contact your subject librarian directly, or use the UCLA Library’s 24/7 chat service.

Computers & equipment

ETU worked with our partner at LabStats to make the computers in both the IS Lab and the GSE&IS Computer Labs accessible remotely using your own computer. This will allow you to take advantage of the software installed on these machines, as well as access other campus resources that are restricted to the UCLA network. If you don’t already have a GSE&IS account, please create one to take advantage of this remote access.

Please read the instructions for the information you’ll need to set up your home Windows or macOS computer. When you’re all set up, visit the Computer Labs Remote Access page. If you have any questions or need assistance connecting remotely, please contact ETU: etu@gseis.ucla.edu.

Course reserves

For the most part, course instructors will be providing access to digital files for your course readings via CCLE. If there’s a course reading you’re unable to access, please contact an IS Lab Staff member, and we’ll do our best to locate a file for you.

Faculty may grant CCLE access to the IS Lab by assigning Instructional Support permissions to Diana Ascher. For those courses, the IS Lab will continue to provide access to course readings. We are working with our partners throughout the UC library system to codify a workflow to provide e-reserves support for faculty during the Spring and Summer quarters. For requests for physical materials we will work with faculty, librarians, and other partners (such as ASUCLA and our e-content vendors) to attempt to provide alternate solutions.

Physical facility

I will be conducting periodic walkthroughs to confirm that there are no facilities emergencies such as water leaks or mold blooms, and to assess the security of the IS Lab, in accordance with UCLA Library protocols.

I hope you find these resources useful. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to help us support instructional continuity.

My best wishes for your continued health and safety.

Diana Ascher, PhD, MBA
Director, IS Lab
Digital Instructional Support Librarian