For years we librarians have been arguing for open access, lately as part of open science. We are pleased that we have made great strides in this direction in the Netherlands. This is convenient now, not only because we want to make all new findings and datasets about COVID-19 available as soon as possible, but also because many employees and students can easily access everything they need anywhere. As libraries, we are pleased with all the initiatives we see from the publishers to be more lenient with providing access to articles, books or databases that are not yet openly available. Or with overviews that are made of relevant literature on the coronavirus. Our university libraries and the Royal Library may be physically closed, but online we are very open.
Our TU Delft Library is not different of course. Our digital resources are online available as always. I would like to share just a few highlights of what passed by in the last few days.
We had to close our study places, but our self-service station is open from 10.00-12.00 pm during weekdays, in our main location and in the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. People are guided so there is no interaction between our hosts and our visitors. The hosts and staff from the physical collections team are pleased that they can facilitate this, at least for the time being. Our counter top was planned for refurbishment later this year; we managed to have it on the roll now.
Our New Media Centre has busy times – the VR Zone is closed (“come and meet us, but not now”), but the studio was available for recordings. Web capturing via collegerama is a very relevant service, and is still up and running.
We help our researchers if they have written a COVID-19 related article that is not freely available. That is something we of course stimulate via our open publishing platform. The 4TU.ResearchData data archive remains fully accessible and researchers can continue to upload and receive online assistance in publishing their data during this time.
Our university has put up a very useful guide for remote teaching and learning. In addition to this we alert our teachers to open educational resources material available via the OER Metafinder. We also direct people interested to JoVE, the video journal. JoVE had decided to provide all their video content (including educational videos) for free through June 15th.
Studium Generale had to cancel all its events. The upcoming weeks SG will fill our brains with inspiring recordings, articles or stuff to do. Follow @sgtudelft! Or check the Van Hasselt lecture of 21 November 2019, where Ingrid Robeyns shared her thoughts about universities in the contemporary world.
And finally, as a last example, a visit is always possible to our online place where we help our students and researchers to find their resources, manage this information, and write or publish their results. Open as always.
I am very proud that we can play our role during these difficult times. We are a strong connector and our mission to let knowledge flow freely comes in handy these days. The strongest assets of any organisation are the people working in it. How wonderful they all are! And if you need us, just send us an email (or call us during weekdays between 9.00 and 17.00 – we heard people appreciate this possibility very much – at +3115 2785678).
<Blog posted 20 March 2020; updated 21 March 2020.>