May 29, 2022

Journal Article: “University Libraries Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: A Developing Country Perspective”

The article (full text) linked to below is a in press/pre-proof from The Journal of Academic Librarianship.


University Libraries Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: A Developing Country Perspective


Muhammad Rafiqa
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Syeda Hina Batool
University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan

Amna Farzand Alib
Kulliyat-ul-Banat Degree College, Lahore, Pakistan

Midrar Ullahc
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Sector H-12, Islamabad, Pakistan


The Journal of Academic Librarianship
6 November 2020, 102280
In Press, Journal Pre-proof
DOI: 10.1016/j.acalib.2020.102280


The purpose of this study was to explore the university libraries’ response during the COVID-19 pandemic and determine their working practices, services patterns, strategies applied, and role played. This study is a qualitative exploration by collecting data through in-depth interviews of purposely selected Heads of seven university libraries. The interview recordings were transcribed, translated, and analyzed thematically. The majority of the university libraries were physically closed for patrons in this pandemic but engaged with the users. Libraries revamped their web pages, reassigned resources, and planned robust online offerings. The university portal and other social media tools were less used communication tools during the pandemic. Library staff worked from home and there was a sense of over burden because of 24/7 connectivity and without any formal working policy addressing the new working routines. University librarians felt that digital divide, lack of digital literacy skills, and slow internet speed were the major barriers in their transition from physical to online mode and less use of library’s online resources and web portals. Libraries see their individual and collective roles of societal and educational dimensions during these uncertain times. The study also made recommendations for the betterment of libraries’ role in such situations.

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Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.