LIKAS 2020: Staff and Patrons’ Safety in the Library: Protocols and Measures Implemented

The Asosasyon ng Aklatan at Sinupan ng Diliman, Inc. (AASDI) annually holds a seminar-workshop aimed at enhancing the capabilities of professionals and staff working in libraries and archives. This annual event called LIKAS stands for Linangin ang Isipan para sa Kaunlaran ng Aklatan at Sinupan. The objectives of this edition’s workshop are aligned with the theme, “Libraries in Transition: Discussing Safety, Security, Responses, and Preparedness in Time of Pandemic.” As a result of COVID-19 crisis, it has been acknowledged that a continuous effort in equipping and retooling library personnel should enable libraries and archives to stay as relevant as ever in communities. Additionally, the library community emphasized the need for library staff to design and implement guidelines to ensure the safety of personnel and users alike. LIKAS 2020 is a three-part webinar session held via Zoom and is free and open to all.

Held last November 20, 2020, the first of the three-part webinar series was presented by Ms. Elvira B. Lapuz, University Librarian of UP Diliman. Her topic revolved around basic tenets of library management, which are security and safety protocols within the library—highlighting the threats brought about by natural and man-made disasters, stringent strategies that would solidify safety and security in the library. Some of these strategies involve the installation of physical facilities such as plastic barriers, self-check-in kiosks, book showers, and more to counter the spread of disease such as COVID-19. Another important thing to note is the essence of accountability between every staff or personnel attached to the library, stating that “emphasis should be on the need for security staff and understanding that security is everybody’s business.” As for the actions and responses that the library personnel can take, Ms. Lapuz advised everyone to think first and, most importantly, “to be within reason” all the time.    

To sum up her presentation, Ms. Lapuz showcased the best practices and measures that the University Library has put in place to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of services to the UP community. As previously mentioned, physical facilities have immensely contributed to the overall security and safety of everyone. However, non-physical strategies such as flexible work arrangements, increased social media presence, online promotion of services, and the like are considered just as effective in library operations. The unforeseen change in the library work environment proved to be challenging for the majority but undeniably led to personal and professional development, which are beneficial in the long run. Lastly, Ms. Lapuz went on to remind the participants about the importance of continuously revamping their existing safety measures.

Ms. Elvira B. Lapuz as seen sharing her presentation on Zoom.

If you’re interested in joining the third and final webinar session, which shall be held on February 19, 2021, you may easily register through this link. The last webinar session shall be presented by the current Deputy University Librarian of UP Diliman, Ms. Eimee Rhea C. Lagrama. 

For more announcements, activities, and events, you may want to keep yourselves posted through AASDI’s Facebook Page here.