Resource sharing during COVID-19 closures

Keep services going through any crisis

With very little notice, libraries around the world began closing their doors in early 2020 to protect users and staff from COVID-19.

This unprecedented decision left some libraries scrambling to find ways to continue library services with staff working from home. Library staff already committed to cloud-based systems had the easiest time shifting to working from home. Several resource sharing librarians spoke to us about how Tipasa helped them maintain ILL services during this period, ensuring their users never lost access to the information they need.


Amherst, New York, US

Kara McGuire fulfills ILL requests from her porch with Tipasa.
Kara McGuire fulfills ILL requests from her porch with Tipasa.

The Assistant Director at Daemen College’s library, Kara McGuire, knows how much students value the library. “It’s the place they always want to go to study,” she said. “Even on snow days!” Closing the library because of COVID-19 has been difficult for the campus community. But Kara continued to provide students with needed resources through Tipasa. She has maintained her ILL fulfillment rate and turnaround times by supplying e-resources and scans. Tipasa lets her do most of her work from home, so she only comes into the library a few hours a week. “This would have been impossible with our previous system,” she said.

"Tipasa has made it possible to maintain our fulfillment rates and get items to our students. Everything has been working great."

Kara McGuire, Assistant Director, Daemen College

“Tipasa has been great because I can fill requests from home, from the comfort of my couch or my porch. I’ve been knocking out requests and working on stats, and I didn’t need my IT department to give me a VPN.”


Kara McGuire
Assistant Director, Daemen College

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, US

Northeastern State University's library
Northeastern State University's library continued ILL services via Tipasa without regular staff onsite.

When Northeastern State University’s library closed just after spring break, Resource Sharing Coordinator Brandon Martin disabled ILL pick-up notifications and the physical book request form by simply unchecking boxes in Tipasa’s configuration model. Beyond a shift to only digital lending, his staff’s workflows barely changed. They now use new COVID-19 cancellation and quarantine tags, which make it easy for Brandon to track items through the process with a quick list view. The staff has worked well from home, even keeping requests moving when their laptops or internet connections went down by logging in to Tipasa from their phones. “This experience has been seamless and flexible, and I don’t know what we would have done without Tipasa.”

"I’ve been using Tipasa at home for a year now, and there’s really no difference in workflow. Instead of logging in at the office, now I log in from home. We barely made any changes to our digital lending workflows at all."

Brandon Martin, Instructor of Library Services, Systems Librarian & Resource Sharing Coordinator, Northeastern State University

“Tipasa has been especially great for our at-risk staff, who can process requests from home, come in after hours to scan pages, and then finish the request back at home. Tipasa allows them to minimize their time on campus.”


Brandon Martin
Instructor of Library Services, Systems Librarian & Resource Sharing Coordinator, Northeastern State University

Norwich, England

Despite library closure due to COVID-19, ILL requests at the University of East Anglia library continued with no noticeable decline. The library decided to only allow requests for e-resources, although they’d consider purchasing e-books to replace physical items as needed. Before moving to web-based Tipasa, library staff would not have been able to support this level of service and fulfillment for such a high volume of requests. Tipasa also makes it easy for them to source items from outside the UK, which has been very valuable as many libraries had to shut down ILL services entirely.

"The international side of Tipasa is brilliant, as we can get items from all over the world."

Alison Dyer, Digital Services Librarian, University of East Anglia

Zoë White has continued to supply e-resources from her home office
Zoë White has continued to supply e-resources from her home office using Tipasa.

“We couldn’t have worked from home and fulfilled requests a year ago, as our systems were not web-based. Tipasa has really come into its own because we only really want digital resources at the moment.”


Zoë White
Senior Collections Assistant, University of East Anglia

Dubuque, Iowa, US

Loras College Library
ILL staff at Loras College kept services going with minimal time on campus thanks to Tipasa.

The library at Loras College may have closed due to COVID-19, but the ILL services continued with barely an interruption. ILL staff adapted easily to working mostly from home. “Tipasa is web-based, so we don’t need a VPN. Plus, Tipasa is so easy to use,” said Access Service & Special Collections Librarian Heidi Pettitt. ILL Coordinator Lisa Finnegan explained, “We had to extend our timeline on loans, but that’s really the only change.” She continues to go in once a week to handle physical items and make scans of books chapters, which make up a lot of their ILL requests. When Lisa was briefly furloughed, Heidi quickly trained remaining staff on Tipasa over a video call. “From a management perspective, ILL was probably the easiest thing to transition to working from home.”

"Tipasa is really easy to use, and having it web-based has been a great thing. I’ve been able to fulfill every request for items we have."

Lisa Finnegan, ILL Coordinator, Loras College

“Tipasa has been so helpful through this COVID-19 crisis. Without it, we would have struggled a lot more to continue to offer ILL services to our community.”


Heidi Pettitt
Access Service & Special Collections Librarian, Loras College

Wageningen, Netherlands

Wageningen University & Research - Library was closed for a couple months due to the COVID-19 crisis. During this time, there was a small decrease in ILL requests from students, staff, and researchers. However, with the help of Tipasa, ILL staff were able to provide sufficient options for fulfilling most of the ILL requests they received. “At the beginning of the crisis, a lot of information was shared by OCLC about how to make adjustments in the system due to the situation, and that was really helpful,” said WMS System Manager Petra Otten. “As we were not loaning books, we were able to set up a deflection policy for them without any major problems.” The library has recently re-opened to offer a study place for a limited number of students.

"During the COVID-19 crisis, Tipasa is providing sufficient options for fulfilling all ILL requests for our institution."

Petra Otten, WMS System Manager, Wageningen University & Research

Petra Otten configures Tipasa from her home office to support ILL staff members.
Petra Otten configures Tipasa from her home office to support ILL staff members.

“The information OCLC provided at the beginning of our COVID-19 closure was extremely helpful, as we had to stop our requests for books and set up a deflection policy. Thanks to the information received, we were able to do all that without any major problems.”


Petra Otten
WMS System Manager, Wageningen University & Research

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