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Cox Library Reimagined

Typically a busy hub for study and research, Cox Library needed a plan to serve the community through this year’s remote and hybrid learning phases. Milton’s librarians went to work finding creative ways to operate.

When Milton first went remote last spring, it “coincided with the start of the history department’s ‘research season,’” says Laura Pearle, the library’s director. “We created a portal that included a chat box so that students looking for library assistance could talk with a librarian from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Students from all over the United States, China, and Europe contacted us for help with citations, using the databases, and general help on various topics.”

Over the summer, the librarians (Pearle, Beth Reardon, Joanna Novick, and Mitchell Edwards) participated in professional development; attended numerous webinars about books, providing remote services, and tech tools for remote learning; and participated in online discussions with their peers nationwide on providing service with a closed facility. They started a library newsletter to promote new resources and remind people of existing ones.

The librarians also added SORA, an ebook service, and curbside pickup for the print collection. Students can reserve books online and pick them up from a table in front of the library. For Middle School students, books are delivered to homerooms.

A GENERATION LOOKS AHEAD

The past year has brought about difficult new realities. For those entering adulthood—dubbed Generation Z—a return to “normal” will involve fundamental change. In this issue, the Milton community looks toward the future and discusses how we will work, learn, laugh, cry, and live together in the decades ahead.