Faculty Publications

Document Type



Interlibrary Loan, Distance education, Academic libraries, Controlled digital lending, Demand-driven acquisition

Journal/Book/Conference Title

2022 ILA/ACRL & IPAL Conference, May 19, 2022, University of Northern Iowa




I want to start out by talking a little about the genesis of this idea. I was working at Rutgers in March 2020 and in fact I taught what might have been the very last in-person bibliographic instruction session before we shut down for spring break – which immediately turned into the long COVID lockdown, at least for us.

But within a matter of weeks, we were joined by other academic libraries all over the world, and all of our users became participants in a great distance education experiment—undergraduates, graduates, researchers, instructors, faculty, and all. The online library became the library; everything we could provide was provided electronically, and would continue to be so for months to come. We faced closed libraries, travel restrictions, and stranded users far from their home libraries but still needing our services.

I was a reference and liaison librarian at the time, but I’d been involved with ILL at different levels through much of my career in academic libraries, and the habit of thinking in ILL terms never left me. So when I pivoted to online reference work and found myself dealing with Rutgers students suddenly finding themselves far from New Jersey and unable to access things they needed in physical format, I started thinking ahead to the post-COVID academic world which we suspected, even at that time, would be permanently more oriented to remote and online users than residential students.


Rod Library

Original Publication Date


Object Description

1 PDF file


UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©2022 Janet Brennan Croft

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.



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