Health sciences library workshops in the COVID era: librarian perceptions and decision making




Workshops, COVID-19, surveys and questionnaires


Objective: We sought to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted academic health sciences library workshops. We hypothesized that health sciences libraries moved workshops online during the height of the pandemic and that they continued to offer workshops virtually after restrictions were eased. Additionally, we believed that attendance increased.

Methods: In March 2022, we invited 161 Association of American Health Sciences Libraries members in the US and Canada to participate in a Qualtrics survey about live workshops. Live workshops were defined as synchronous; voluntary; offered to anyone regardless of school affiliation; and not credit-bearing. Three time periods were compared, and a chi square test of association was conducted to evaluate the relationship between time period and workshop format.

Results: Seventy-two of 81 respondents offered live workshops. A chi square test of association indicated a significant association between time period and primary delivery method, chi-square (4, N=206) = 136.55, p< .005. Before March 2020, 77% of respondents taught in person. During the height of the pandemic, 91% taught online and 60% noted higher attendance compared to pre-pandemic numbers. During the second half of 2021, 65% of workshops were taught online and 43% of respondents felt that attendance was higher than it was pre-pandemic. Overall workshop satisfaction was unchanged (54%) or improved (44%).

Conclusion: Most health sciences librarians began offering online workshops following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than half of respondents were still teaching online in the second half of 2021. Some respondents reported increased attendance with similar levels of satisfaction.

Author Biography

Nell Aronoff, University at Buffalo

Senior Assistant Librarian


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Original Investigation