EBLIDA – OCLC Online Workshop

Reshaping the library in light of the pandemic: possibilities and opportunities

Date:21 September 2021



Reshaping the library in light of the pandemic: possibilities and opportunities

Over the last 18 months, the impact of the pandemic and the changes that it has enforced has been felt by many libraries the world over. During this session, we will look at how these changes have impacted and reshaped libraries both globally and regionally. Using the findings and conclusions gleaned from an OCLC Research project carried out during the pandemic, and a report published by EBLIDA in May 2020 and updated in August 2021, we will consider what the ‘new normal’ for libraries may look like in the post-COVID age.



(5 minutes)

Ton van Vlimmeren, President EBLIDA

Part 1 – OCLC: New Model Library context setting

(15 minutes)

The impact of the pandemic has been felt by many within the library sector with changes to both workflows and library offerings. Some of these changes are here to stay and we will continue to feel their impact going forward in the form of positive, long-term change.

As a part of OCLC Research’s work in documenting how libraries as organizations operate, adapt, and evolve, the OCLC Research team met with global library leaders to discuss emerging library models in response to the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They looked at new and evolving practices and policies, possibilities for collaboration, and how these opportunities can benefit their communities into the future.

During this session, representatives from OCLC Research will share their findings and conclusions based on the library leaders’ vision as their New Model Library emerges. A corresponding report will be made available later this year.


Lynn Silipigni Connaway, Ph.D., Director of Library Trends and User Research, OCLC Research

Titia van der Werf, Senior Program Officer, OCLC Research

Brittany Brannon, Research Support Specialist, OCLC Research

Part 2 – EBLIDA Post-Covid 19 context setting

(15 minutes)


Giuseppe Vitiello, Director EBLIDA

The content of the EBLIDA report A European library agenda for the post-Covid 19 age (May 2020), together with the Sustainable Development Goals and Libraries – First European Report, also released in May 2020, and the Paper on The European Structural and Investment Funds 2021-2027: Funding Opportunities for Libraries (June 2020) were aggregated into the EBLIDA flagship report “Think The Unthinkable: A post Covid-19 European Library Agenda meeting Sustainable Development Goals and funded through the European Structural and Investment Funds (2021-2027)”.

One year later, with the pandemic apparently slowing down and, in some countries, on the way to being eradicated, EBLIDA decided to relaunch an investigation with a view to validating the new normals detected in the first post-Covid agenda report and to identifying the legacy left by library policies and trends set in place during the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.

Q and A session – with prepared questions, then opening up to the audience

(30-35 minutes)

  1. As a result of how the pandemic has foregrounded inequities, describe how the role of the library in the community has changed?
  2. What are the opportunities for libraries to provide and promote open content to their communities, i.e., create and assist community members with creation, digitize, advertise/promote, etc.?
  3. What are the challenges or opportunities for library membership cooperatives to help the profession in the age of COVID, i.e., Advocacy, training/professional development, agenda setting for libraries, digital literacy, provision of technology, etc.


(5 minutes)

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