University libraries response to COVID-19 pandemic: A developing country perspective

Document Type





The purpose of this study was to explore the university libraries' response during the COVID-19 pandemic and determine their working practices, services patterns, strategies applied, and role played. This study is a qualitative exploration by collecting data through in-depth interviews of purposely selected Heads of seven university libraries. The interview recordings were transcribed, translated, and analyzed thematically. The majority of the university libraries were physically closed for patrons in this pandemic but engaged with the users. Libraries revamped their web pages, reassigned resources, and planned robust online offerings. The university portal and other social media tools were less used communication tools during the pandemic. Library staff worked from home and there was a sense of over burden because of 24/7 connectivity and without any formal working policy addressing the new working routines. University librarians felt that digital divide, lack of digital literacy skills, and slow internet speed were the major barriers in their transition from physical to online mode and less use of library's online resources and web portals. Libraries see their individual and collective roles of societal and educational dimensions during these uncertain times. The study also made recommendations for the betterment of libraries' role in such situations.


Pagination is not provided by the author.This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

The Journal of Academic Librarianship