How the Seminole State Library adapted to serve students during a pandemic

Thursday, October 22, 2020
Written by: Emily Hollingshead

Select campus libraries are open for computer use and single-person study by appointment. Masks/cloth face coverings and social distancing are required.

Hunkering down to study in the library is a common college experience that, like many things, was disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Seminole State College of Florida Library has been quick on its feet and adapted during the time when all the campuses were closed, expanding its virtual offerings and finding new ways to reach students.

Among the virtual services the library offered (and continues to offer) are:

  • LibGuides, which helps students easily locate information about which library services are available and how to access them.
  • LibCal, where students can reserve space in the library to study and book virtual appointments with librarians
  • LibAnswers, which was utilized as a virtual reference desk and a 24/7 chat service that expanded access to Seminole State students.
  • Students also had access to an expanded library of electronic content. The eBook and eVideo collections grew 2% in the first two months of remote work, with now over 20,500 eBooks and eVideos available.
  • Through Canvas, the College’s online learning management system, the campus libraries communicated with students and faculty through course modules, embedded librarian work and streamed media for classes.

In addition to these tools, the library kept the students as the priority, suspending new fines on materials that were on loan when campuses were initially closed, as well as temporarily lifting older fines to allow students to register to ensure their education remained on track. Through social media, the library communicated immediately useful information, like the extended due dates for all library materials, or what films they had available to stream. They even organized a virtual pet parade over social media as a replacement for the therapy dogs that would be hosted in the campus libraries the week of final exams, to give students, faculty and staff a way to relieve stress.

In their paper, “Seamless Virtual Service: An Academic Library Response to COVID-19,” Seminole State librarians Dr. Karen Kaufmann and Claire Miller wrote, “The overall new direction or ‘coming about’ embraced new ways to use current technologies and employed creative thinking for our virtual mode. Moving forward, the Seminole State College Libraries will be using the processes, tools and mindset developed during this unprecedented change in how we operate.”

To learn more about the Seminole State Library resources, visit

About Seminole State College

Seminole State College of Florida, established in 1965, serves nearly 30,000 students across six sites in Central Florida. A comprehensive college, Seminole State has awarded more than 100,000 credentials, from bachelor's degrees to high school diplomas, and offers more than 200 degrees, certificates and programs designed for success. For more about the college, visit
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