November 15, 2021

NAG Webinar week:

Getting Back to Business: Covid Recovery at The Hive and throughout Worcestershire Libraries
Kate Holford and Stephanie Jones

The last 20 months have posed extraordinary challenges for organisations and individuals alike. The pertinency and need for libraries both academic and public has never been more acutely felt than in this period as academic, information, digital, financial and social support all became limited almost overnight. This paper will discuss the way in which The Hive, Europe’s first joint academic and public library, managed these extreme changes to service delivery necessitated by the Covid pandemic, and how Worcestershire Libraries as a whole developed and implemented protocols and a strategy to get back to business. We will describe key points of consideration including the development of a sustainable model of service expansion and contraction which followed government guidelines, as well as delivering committed support to staff who were returning to the workplace. We will also describe some of the specific challenges faced by the Hive, a space that epitomises the partnership between Worcestershire County Council and the University of Worcester and how the values and expectations of both partners were balanced and achieved.

Our Speakers:
Stephanie Jones, Hive Library Services Manager

Stephanie is an experienced customer services’ manager, having worked in catering and hospitality management for 15 years. She turned to a career in libraries after teaching and studying for a PhD in English Literature at Aberystwyth University, and teaching at University of Worcester in the School of Arts and Media where she became passionate about engaging with resources and educating young minds.

Kate Holford, Service Delivery Manager – Worcestershire Libraries & The Hive

Kate is responsible for delivering a high quality library service across 21 sites in Worcestershire, including The Hive. She started her career with Libraries in 2015, following an established career in the private Finance and Banking sector. Whilst a very different business to banking, Kate was attracted to Libraries as somewhere she could make a difference, developing staff to provide excellent services and ensuring Worcestershire Libraries continue to develop and evolve to meet new challenges and the changing needs of our customer base.