Library Highlights 2020-2021

Pandemic response

To meet the need for access to our collection and to materials borrowed from other library collections, we began offering contactless pickup in the vestibule during the summer of 2020. This service has been so popular that we have continued it even after reopening the building.


We welcomed students and faculty back into the library building safely in fall 2020, following extensive research on best practices and collaboration with colleagues at Webster and in the library community. Thanks to the library staff’s thoughtful planning and careful execution of our reopening strategies, we have been able to remain open safely for our students and faculty since the start of the fall 2020 term.


We provided workstations with headphones and webcams for students who needed a place to attend remote classes.


Instruction and Liaison librarians helped with Online Learning Center (OLC) open office hours and offered presentations for faculty to help transition their courses online. These librarians also helped build a portion of the OLC Knowledge Center and worked with faculty to test Zoom before they began using it in classes.


Library staff developed web pages detailing our services during the pandemic as well as research guides with resources on COVID-19, lists of temporarily free scholarly resources, and information about working remotely. These pages received more than 2,173 hits during 2020/2021.


Open Educational Resources and textbook alternatives

Our librarians trialed Faculty Select, a service that allows faculty to identify replacements for traditional purchased textbooks. Faculty chose several textbook replacements which were added to the library’s collection and offered significant savings for students. Librarians also purchased several exact eBook replacements for traditional textbooks, again offering significant savings for students. These activities have provided insights we will use to develop funding requests and to discuss options with the university’s bookstore.



The library worked with Advancement to develop a library donation page for direct giving to the library.


We maintain a wish list on Amazon for those interested in donating materials to the library. This was updated with new titles and additional subject areas.


The library’s vendor EBSCO donated in support of Webster University’s 2021 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Conference.


New resources

We expanded access to the Mometrix test preparation database by adding content to help education students prepare for teacher certification exams, and nursing students prepare for test-out exams. 


In collaboration with the Global Marketing and Communication Department, we purchased a site license for the online version of the Chronicle of Higher Education.


We added to the collection nearly 500 donated items, including videos, books, and digital scores.



Library staff assisted with the planning for the Chancellor’s Book Circle, a common read among staff and faculty focused on issues of diversity. Staff also assisted with planning for the WSA’s Common Read program and co-facilitated reading groups. The program offered reading groups for White Fragility in fall 2020 and The New Jim Crow and From Equity Talk to Equity Walk in spring 2021.