August 11, 2020

COVID and Architecture Libraries: Documenting the Story

August 2020 AASL Column

“There is a late 60s song entitled “In the year 2525….” that speaks to a search for meaning. Since March of this year many of us have also been on such a quest as we grapple with COVID , the quick upheaval to our lives, the sudden need to adjust to a “new norm” as well as again finding meaning in our work and perhaps home lives.    

There will be many studies of what happened in March 2020 and our personal and professional responses to COVID 19. This paper seeks to begin this dialogue and document its impact on architecture collections and librarians”. 

What appears above is the current introduction to an article in preparation by five experienced architecture librarians: Rose Orcutt, Architecture & Planning Librarian, University at Buffalo; Lucy Campbell, Librarian, NewSchool of Architecture and Design; Maya Gervits, Director of the Littman Architecture Library, New Jersey Institute of Technology; Kathy Edwards, Librarian, Clemson University and Barbara Opar, Librarian for Architecture, Syracuse University.

But while the authors have researched the topic, compiled a bibliography, and discussed many aspects such as reference and collection development with library colleagues, the perspective of faculty teaching architectural history, theory, design, and technology will be of great assistance in tracing the impact of library decisions on a very important patron group.  The authors are asking your helping in completing the survey which appears below. 

This survey is to capture the work-life changes and challenges teaching faculty faced during the months of COVID-19.

The survey is entirely voluntary and will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete. Your refusal to participate will involve no penalty or loss of benefits to you. You may refuse to answer any questions that you do not want to answer. Please note that your responses are anonymous and no individual identifying information is being collected.

There are no known risks to participating in this survey and there is no cost to you for participating in this survey. There are no direct benefits to you for participating in this survey but your feedback may help architecture librarians better understand what challenges you encountered during the spring semester of 2020.

If you have questions, concerns, or complaints, or think the research has hurt you, email the lead author at  You may also contact the research participant advocate at 716-888-4845 or  

This research has been reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (“IRB”). An IRB is a committee that provides ethical and regulatory oversight of research that involves human subjects. You may talk to them at (716) 888-4888 or email if: 

  • You have questions about your rights as a participant in this research
  • Your questions, concerns, or complaints are not being answered by the research team.
  • You cannot reach the research team.
  • You want to talk to someone besides the research team.
  • You want to get information or provide input about this research.

Please access the survey by clicking on the button below. By clicking on the button below, you indicate your willingness to participate in the survey.

The survey ends on August 21, 2020. Thank you for your participation!!

AASL Column
August 2020
Lucy Campbell and Barbara Opar, column editors
Column prepared by Barbara Opar


Michelle Sturges
Membership Manager