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13c The virtues of virtual: piloting a virtual reading room at the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
The year 2020 marked 100 years since the Alexander Turnbull Library first opened its doors to the public. But in March 2020, the Library had to close those doors as Aotearoa New Zealand went into a nationwide lockdown in response to the emerging Covid-19 global pandemic. While Library staff pivoted to working from home, researchers continued to seek access to library collections and resources remotely. While some digital collections were already available open access online through the National Digital Heritage Archive, many contemporary digital collections were limited to onsite access in the reading rooms in Wellington. In June 2020, the Library began a pilot project to offer secure remote access to selected digital archives via a virtual reading room, working in collaboration with Auckland City Libraries. This presentation will provide an overview of the virtual reading room pilot, including technical requirements, policies, and process, and partnerships, as well as lessons learned from the project, and next steps.
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