COVID-19 is the one and only topic during this heightened time of anxiety and information management. As higher education institutions in the United States began to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving classes online, academic librarians found themselves in need of real-time information — not only about their own institution’s practices, but also how other libraries were responding. The Scholarly Kitchen brought this interesting news to our attention in their article, “Academic Library Response to COVID-19: Real-Time Data Gathering and Dissemination.

This article highlights the development of a survey to collect both initial and updated reports from academic libraries. The hope is that this serves as a useful case study for those who are also finding themselves in situations where speed in gathering and disseminating useful information is the most important objective.

Building out real-time dissemination of the results and the beginnings of a communications strategy comes with the survey. The project also includes published analyses of the data, additional reports and dashboards and a geographic visualization of building closures.

It is information gathering at its best.

Melody K. Smith

Sponsored by Data Harmony, a unit of Access Innovations, the world leader in indexing and making content findable.