Pandemic IL series: A Picture Says a Thousand Words; But Words Don’t Come Easy

This is a celebratory dedication through words and sentences, to our library and information colleagues, especially instruction librarians, who may have during the ongoing pandemic, experienced P.A.I.N. and P.R.I.D.E. in various ways.


We all coped differently with the constantly changing directives and protocols from governments, agencies and institutions but most librarians continued to ‘keep calm and carry on’.


Nervousness became a concern for some instruction librarians using new tools and platforms for the first time, and spending more time to prepare when in the past many will ‘pack and go’.


With restrictions to on-site access to libraries, there were no more walking across to a colleague’s cubicle, water cooler conversations and lunching together, and feeling isolated saw the need for self-care and mindfulness by simply asking ‘how are you?’


The pandemic became a nemesis that everyone wanted to conquer and its elusiveness and evolution made us manage our own expectations and accept it as part of the new normal whilst science tries to eradicate it, if at all.



Librarians have always been early adopters of technology and revolutionised library services over the years and the pandemic triggered the next wave in our digital transformation.


Whilst the new normal highlighted the need for service continuity and business-as-usual, the desire to help our users (students, faculty and the community) demonstrated the tenacity of librarians as educators responding to the clarion call.


The creative approaches taken by instruction librarians to enhance and develop new instructional strategies, lesson plans, assessment – many through self-directed means highlighted our need for continuing professional development.


The sacrifices made by everyone working from home and juggling family and work responsibilities highlighted the need for celebratory rewards, treats and recognition.


Instruction librarians embraced online or digital learning but at the same time many prefer the hybrid environment where many opined that they prefer face-to-face interaction which offers so much more beyond the exponential numbers seen in online classes, workshops and events attendances.

I hope that 2022 be a better year for us all. Season’s Greetings and Best Wishes.

Contributed by:
Rajen Munoo
Head, Learning & Engagement SMU Libraries
Chair, Council of Chief Librarians’ Committee on Information Literacy

The Pandemic IL (Pain and Pride) Series, is a curation of stories in 300 words by instruction librarians as part of the Council of Chief Librarians (CCL) Committee on Information Literacy (CIL).
Released on a weekly basis, this multi-part story series highlights the pivot to online during the pandemic and demonstrates the resilience, tenacity, commitment and passion by instruction librarians to teach, educate and advocate not only information, media and digital literacy, but multi-literacies using various digital learning strategies. Enjoy.

Rajen Munoo

Chair, CCL, Committee on Information Literacy