Background. Libraries have rapidly adapted their services and policies during the lockdown and have likewise adopted new initiatives. This study investigated on the impact of COVID-19 to academic libraries in the Philippines.
Objectives. The study aimed to: (1) determine the readiness of academic libraries to provide online services and resources in the pre-COVID-19 period or at the onset of the community quarantine in the Philippines in March 2020; (2) look into the different initiatives and innovations introduced by academic libraries during the quarantine period so as to continuously provide services and access to resources, in the absence of face-to-face interaction; (3) explore the different issues and challenges encountered by academic libraries in the delivery of library services during the pandemic; and finally, (4) find out how academic librarians envision the post-COVID-19 era of academic libraries in the country.
Methods. The study made use of descriptive quantitative method. Data were gathered through survey using an instrument developed by the authors. Sampling was purposive with head librarians in academic libraries from all over the country as the respondents. Spreadsheet was used to process data which were presented in simple tables, graphs and charts. Responses to the open ended question were analyzed and manually coded using inductive coding.
Results. Majority of academic libraries in the country were caught unprepared when the pandemic hit. Despite this, they managed to provide services that were delivered online, while simultaneously embarking on a number of different initiatives. COVID-19 showed to have made considerable impact in terms of staffing, utilization, collection development, and funding. Finally, the respondents envision academic libraries in the post-pandemic era to still be hybrid, with digital resources gaining prominence over printed resources.
Contributions. The shared experiences of academic libraries in the Philippines amidst the pandemic and how they were able to rise above the challenges they were confronted with as they shift their services to online mode may serve as a guide and help inspire other libraries in developing countries faced with similar situations.
Keywords. COVID-19 pandemic, Philippine academic libraries, pre-during-post pandemic scenario, innovation, online services, resilience.
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