Virtual 911: Library Collaboration During A Pandemic

Poster Description: Northwest Mississippi Community College libraries had always planned to increase our virtual services and presence, but we were unable to address our online deficits until our college switched to all virtual learning in March of 2020. This poster session will focus on how we went from having very little online presence and services to offering regular online instruction and other research activities. We will discuss the partnerships and collaboration with faculty and the specific online offerings we created.

Poster: View slides on Canva.

Presenter Names: Dr. Melissa Wright, Courtney Hicks, & Maya Berry, Northwest Mississippi Community College

Presenter Bios:

Melissa Wright is a former medical librarian and instructor of library and information science. She is currently Director of Learning Resources at Northwest Mississippi Community College.

Courtney Hicks is the instructional librarian at Northwest Mississippi Community College – DeSoto Campus.

Maya Berry is the digital librarian at Northwest Mississippi Community College – Senatobia Campus.

13 replies on “Virtual 911: Library Collaboration During A Pandemic”

Super interesting to see the pre/post COVID engagement with your services! Are there aspects of this approach you’re hoping to continue once in-person classes resume? E.g. connecting via Canvas, promo videos, texting options, or your virtual escape rooms?

Hi Jules! Thanks for your comments. I think we definitely want to continue these services. We have a robust online program that we have not adequately reached in the past due to a variety of factors, and these services are really helpful for our busy on-campus students, too.

Could you explain a little more about your setup for virtual instruction (slide 4)? Were these 4 drop-in sessions for just one course, or any student who wanted to come? Was this in one week or repeated over several weeks? Were the times selected outside of normal synchronous class times (or did they not have any synchronous class times)? Thanks 🙂

Hi Megan!

We had 4 drop-in sessions for one course(Public Speaking) during one set week. The students were given plenty of notice of the week and were encouraged to sign-up for a time/day ahead of time. It was NOT during their class time, so we wanted to make sure they would get a reminder ahead of time by signing up.

Side note: I will say also that I have done Research Drop-in Sessions open to everyone with success when faculty encouraged their students to attend. We did these a 1-2 weeks before their papers/annotated bibs were due.

Hope that helps!


Thanks Courtney! That’s interesting. I’m at a community college too, and I just can’t imagine doing 4 different sessions for one class. We’ve been either doing synchronous sessions during normal class time (so presumably all students can attend) or asynchronous support via screencasts, guides, etc.

I have been wondering if it would be helpful for us to do drop-in sessions open to all students. Students are already able to make an appointment to meet with a librarian, but a session that’s simply scheduled and open may be more appealing to some students.

When I did the drop-ins open to everyone in-person, I did them during lunch(Most of our students are finished with classes at noon) and invested in pizza for them. Great success and a fun time where students actually discussed research!

How do they schedule appointments? Via the google form or was that just for faculty? Looking for something easy to use and not too $$ but that students would use. Our campus has a scheduler service but I’m not sure what the cost would be to our department/I have to sell it to the director.

Great Idea. Can you explain how google forms was used to create that virtual experience and also is this the paid version of Canva?

Hi, Raelle,

We do use the paid version of Canva and librarians at all three of our campuses have access. The free version is great, but we do a lot of graphics and promotional flyers and it seemed that what we wanted to use was not free. It has been a good investment.

I found the instructions for creating escape rooms using Google forms on the ALA Think Tank Facebook group last year. For this one, I developed a story of a new nurse who found out on her first day on the job that she had to only speak Spanish and create all new patient handouts in Spanish. I set up the clues like a quiz with both multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank options, with questions focusing on specific consumer health sources for Spanish speakers.

I used pictures throughout to illustrate the story (either from Canva or creative commons images from Google) and created an online jigsaw puzzle for them at the end using

Here are some links to instructions on how to create escape rooms using Google forms: