IS Lab Patron Update 20S Week 6

By May 11, 2020

Dear Patrons,

As we begin the seventh week of classes, I’m writing to provide you with a synopsis of recent news and links to useful resources and events of interest for the next five days. We trust you’re connecting to digital resources without difficulty. However, if you run into any trouble our IS Lab Staff, as well as our dedicated Information Studies librarian, Diane Mizrachi, are available to assist you. Please make sure that you have VPN or proxy set up to access resources from off campus.

Mindful Matters

For those moments when remote work challenges and the uncertainty arising from the pandemic feel overwhelming, this week’s mindfulness resource is the Bruinertia Challenge, which runs from today through June 9. Check @uclarec on Instagram for daily workouts, and register at In addition, MLIS student Lawrence Maminta reports that Headspace has partnered with the Los Angeles County Health Department to make its app available to residents. Learn more about this opportunity at If you have found mindfulness resources that would be useful to others in our community, please send them my way to include in a future update.

Practical Concerns

Week 7 has begun, and we remain at the ready to provide assistance as described in last week’s update.

Alumni engagement

Students have been making good use of the digital portfolios resources on the IS Lab website, and we’ve facilitated multiple portfolio presentation practice sessions with alumni. Many thanks to our alumni for supporting graduating MLIS students in this way.


Important Notice: Please make sure you’re running Zoom 5.0 now. After May 30, 2020, all Zoom clients on older versions will receive a forced upgrade when trying to join meetings, which be frustrating when you’re scrambling to join a meeting on time. This upgrade enables encryption across the Zoom platform. Click here for more information.


We recognize that back-to-back Zoom meetings can be exhausting. Therefore, we’ve begun producing video tutorials on practical skills and other topics of interest related to the MLIS curriculum, which you can review at your own leisure and pace. For example, get advice from alum Courtney Dean on essential knowledge and skills she uses in her job as head of the Center for Primary Research and Training in UCLA Library Special Collections.

Virtual assemblage

I’m pleased to see student groups convening in the IS Lab Virtual Commons. Please let us know if your student group needs a place to meet, as well. In addition to the Virtual Commons, the IS Lab’s virtual assemblage includes spaces for reference support, instructional support, and training events. Also, be sure to check out the IS Lab’s events calendar to learn about upcoming workshops.

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