University Libraries Newsletter
May 2020
Library Resources & Events
USA Sharon Tayler, Library Secretary, helps out during Lockdown
At the beginning of our lockdown, I tried to think of ways that I could help, even if only a little. At the beginning of April, I started making face masks for my daughter who is a Surgical Tech here in Mobile. Then I started making them for friends, family and a few co-workers. The request for masks continued to grow from there by word-of-mouth. Once I finish the order that I have now, I will have made 107 masks! I am not fast, but I like to think they are quality made. I use 2 layers of 100% cotton and one layer of interfacing. I also give the option of two different styles (fitted or with pleats) and with the option of elastic or ties. All of them have a nose wire. I have been able to purchase the necessary materials (fabric, elastic, thread, ribbon, interfacing and wire) thanks to the generous donations of those that I am making masks for.
Alma Platt, Administrative Assistant in the USA Libraries Administration Office, donated her mother’s sewing machine (for which I am eternally grateful) after mine broke down. So, Kudos to her! I will continue to make masks as long as there is a need and as long as I can afford it. Everyone, please stay safe and wear your masks when you go out in public to protect others! ~ Sharon Tayler
Patient Education Takes on New Look
Rachel Fenske, Outreach Librarian at the Biomedical Library, is now using Zoom to provide patient education to the patients and parents of children at the USA Children’s & Women’s Pediatric Infusion Unit during the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior, she would visit the hospital unit instructing families in the use of consumer friendly health resources from the National Library of Medicine using tablet computers.
Given the uncertainty of when she will be able to go back into the hospital, she coordinated with the USA Children’s & Women’s Nursing Administration and the Pediatric Infusion Unit staff to implement Zoom meetings for patient education sessions. Everyone was eager to have her back providing education and have been extremely helpful in setting up the tablets and initiating the meeting. By using Zoom, she is able to share her screen as she demonstrates MedlinePlus and X-Plain® health videos.
Patients and parents watch as she conducts searches on their or their child’s condition leading them to quality health information. After the demonstration, she navigates them through the process with an additional tablet by their side. This enables them to use the resources while they are in the unit. All of the resources, with the exception of the X-plain® health videos, are freely accessible on the Web, so continued use is available after leaving the hospital.
Unfortunately, rare and debilitating childhood diseases do not subside during a pandemic and the need for reputable information is still present. Rachel is excited to be back providing a much needed service and appreciates the collaboration of the nursing administration and unit staff. Although face-to-face sessions are a much more personable and desirable method of instruction, this alternative allows patients and families to locate reliable health information on complex diseases when they need it the most.
~ Rachel Fenske
National Poetry Month celebrated with Pajamas and Pizza using Zoom
To celebrate National Poetry Month in April 2020, the Marx Library organized two online poetry readings, Poetry in Pajamas and Poetry and Pizza. Each semester, the library holds a poetry open mic and provides the attendees with pizza. When the pandemic forced the library to close its building, they moved the event online using Zoom.
With the support of the USA English Department, specifically Charlotte Pence and Karen Peterson, and the JagWriters Creative Writing Group, both events were a great success, with a total of 101 registrants. Students shared their own original poetry, read poems by favorite authors, or simply listened to support their classmates.
In a survey sent out after the events, students expressed a desire to have additional readings throughout the summer, noting that they valued the opportunity to see and interact with other students, especially during this time of isolation.
~ Stepanie Evers Ard
What is the New Normal for USA Library workers?
For a list of temporarily available resources, see COVID-19 Temporarily Available Collections.

For information about resources designed for clinicians, see COVID-19 Resources for Clinicians.
Temporarily Available Resources
In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many library and textbook vendors have been either expanding access to subscriptions already owned by libraries, or they've been making their resources available to libraries for free for a limited time. Some of these resources require you to create a free account to access them.

Available resources include textbooks, streaming video, databases, journal content, reference material, course material, and a data visualization tool.
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