Librarians provide virtual student services in altered learning environment | The Harvard Press | Features | Feature Articles


The Harvard Public Library offers many resources for students of the Bromfield School and Hildreth Elementary and, though its doors are still closed for walk-in services, voracious readers and homework-laden youngsters need not despair. Librarians from the schools and public library have been collaborating closely to ensure that research help, requests for material, library orientation sessions, youth programming, and other offerings are available in a virtual format and are accessible for students this semester.

“Basically, everything we could offer patrons before, we are offering now. It’s just [that] the requests are coming in either via phone or email or virtually,” said Lisa Gagnon, a reference librarian and assistant director at the library, in a phone interview with the Press.

One of the first agenda items on Gagnon’s list as Bromfield dives into the fall semester is to get students situated with library cards. For sixth- and seventh-graders, that means assigning new cards, and for eighth- through 12th-graders, it means renewing those issued in previous years.

Once library cards have been issued, students can expect to have most of the same resources as they would during a normal year, with a few changes in format.

At the beginning of each year, Bromfield classes often take a trip to the library to learn what is available to them and how to make the most of it. This year, since an in-person trip isn’t feasible, the librarians will be…

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