Working Through the Pandemic – Staffing and Workflows

REMOTO WORKFORCE Team I Updated on - June 1, 2022

Navigating the Lockdown: Methods of Continuing Archival Work During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic presented itself as a challenge for archivists. Since archival work is typically completed on-site, Special Collections professionals needed to find methods of continuing their work during the lockdown and reassess their policies and procedures within the rapidly changing environment. This session draws on the experiences of five institutions and how they navigated the lockdown. These presentations will cover the following: processing collections at home, beginning a two-year NEH grant project in a remote work environment, establishing a rapport with a new group of workers through teleworking, adjusting processes for digital projects, and transitioning from on-site to virtual exhibits. The aim of the session is to provide samples of how Special Collections professionals were able to continue with projects in order to remain true to their institutions’ missions. The session will also cover lessons learned and how these adjustments have influenced current work procedures.

Teambuilding during a pandemic; or, how we learned to stop worrying and embrace failure
At the beginning of March 2020, four relative strangers sat down in a room at the Library of Congress for the first meeting of the newly formed Roger L. Stevens papers processing team. Less than two weeks later, they found themselves working from home as the Library entered a maximum telework phase with no end in sight. This presentation will explore how four people of different experience levels and backgrounds navigated new technologies to establish communication structures and research their subject, real estate executive and theatrical producer Roger L. Stevens; how carefully discussed and articulated workflows failed when the Library returned to partial on site work; and, how regular remote check-ins allowed the team to pivot quickly to resolve issues.

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