During the COVID-19 Pandemic, many staff of archival and special collections institutions had to quickly adapt to working in an online environment with limited or no access to their physical collections and facilities. Although there were larger efforts made during this time to help colleagues on a national and international level learn how to teach, provide public services, and perform outreach in these newer virtual spaces, there was less visible focus on learning how to collaborate with colleagues to acquire new professional skills. However, the Visiting Manuscript Librarian at Miami University recognized this unique time as an opportunity to add an entirely new skill to her repertoire: how to catalog rare books. Enlisting the assistance of the Special Collections Librarian, they discovered how to both teach and learn cataloging in a completely online environment, with limited access to any of their institution's physical materials.
This poster will explore the training process these librarians developed to learn a new technical skill in a virtual environment, even though that skill is more traditionally taught in-person. The presenters will use examples from their personal experiences to demonstrate how the virtual environment was beneficial to both of them in the process of teaching and learning how to catalog rare books. They will discuss the problems they encountered, and examine how they were able to overcome those challenges with different online tools. The presenters will also include tips on how to best use this approach for learning a variety of archival skills from fellow colleagues.
How to Cite:
Pine, C., (2021) “Learning New Skills During a Global Pandemic: How to Develop Collaborative Training Opportunities with Your Colleagues”, MAC Annual Meeting Presentations 2021(1).