Team of the Month 06/2021: The University Library and COVID-19


The University Library team started preparing to adapt the library’s services to the requirements of the COVID-19 pandemic already in February 2020.

The University Library team: Otto Bartl (without picture), Silvia Köpf, Elisabeth Koppensteiner, Ulrike Kugler, and Barbara Lindsberger

Team of the month

Subsequently, many of the services had to be readjusted several times to respond to changes in the official regulations and the requirements of the COVID-19 situation. The University Library implemented comprehensive hygiene measures in its operations on site and the team switched to working in alternating shifts. A number of new COVID-19-related procedures have now become part of the University Library team’s everyday routine, for example a ticket system for reserving seats in study areas, steps taken to ensure that library users maintain the prescribed minimum distance to each other, additional cleaning shifts and ventilation at noon, scanning services, loan period extensions, and answering countless questions on the current services every day. All of these have been intended to ensure user-oriented service and comprehensive support, both on site and online, despite the COVID-19-related restrictions.

Another key goal was to increasingly expand the range of library services and move them online. The team also negotiated with publishers to provide additional remote access rights for databases and implemented these additional capacities as well, for example for Manz RDB, Lexis 360, Beck-Online, Bloomberg, and Wirtschafts-Compass. These providers only offered remote access for students due to the special situation caused by the pandemic. Thanks to new business models introduced by publishers (evidence-based acquisition), the WU University Library was able to add some 100,000 new items to its eBook collection. Based on usage statistics, the library will acquire the most frequently accessed items permanently.

Representing many more University Library staff members, the core team consists of Otto Bartl (eResources Management), Silvia Köpf and Elisabeth Koppensteiner (Reader Service), Ulrike Kugler (Service Management), and Barbara Lindsberger (Special Libraries). With tireless dedication, creativity, patience, and a commitment to optimal solutions, they have been able to maintain very high quality standards in WU’s library services, and they will continue to ensure outstanding quality moving forward.

Team of the month

Research and teaching are the key areas of a university’s work, and the most visible. However, the work of the administrative staff is also very important for making sure that a university can operate smoothly and successfully. The members of our administrative staff may not be as highly visible as our researchers, but it’s their commitment that provides our researchers and teaching staff with crucial services like a powerful IT infrastructure, state-of-the-art library services, effective support services for faculty and researchers, tailor-made in-house training programs, or personal support in running the day-to-day operations of an institute – all of this requires careful planning and organization. To bring some of these people into the spotlight, we are naming a Team of the Month 6 times a year to introduce selected members of the administrative personnel and reward them for their important achievements in specific projects.