HomePAARL Research Journalvol. 9 no. 1 - Special Anniversary Issue (2023)

Experiences in the Implementation of a Virtual Library during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Myra E. Villanueva | Dave E. Marcial



Due to the global pandemic, Silliman University was temporarily closed, and on-campus visits were discontinued. The library established a remote virtual library to ensure continuous operations and fulfill its mission. This paper describes the experiences in managing the virtual library of Silliman University during the lockdown brought on by the pandemic. Specifically, it details the design process and the development of the virtual spaces of the library. The study utilized a mixed-method approach, incorporating qualitative and quantitative research designs. The qualitative aspect delved deep into the lived experiences and firsthand observations of the Ad-hoc Committee members, comprising nine seasoned librarians, library advocates, and experts in information technology who were fully immersed in developing online platforms. To measure the satisfaction levels of library users with the online services and databases, a random survey (quantitative) was conducted from May 18 to 24, 2020, through the ePoll. Data gathered yielded a wealth of insights into the effectiveness and overall reception of the virtual services and resources delivered during the pandemic. Descriptive statistics (mainly percentages) were used to analyze data. Results showed that the Library’s transformation project, which started before the pandemic, facilitated library services’ transformation during the lockdown. With the insights gained during the pandemic, the Library realized that it is important for virtual reference services to be implemented step-by-step, taking into consideration the librarians’ and library staff’s training and how much these have enhanced their capacities as some library personnel were not physically, mentally, and technically ready. Regarding user satisfaction, most respondents expressed satisfaction with the mySOUL Virtual Library Services, although some areas need continued development. In addition, while the respondents were pleased with the availability of subscribed databases and probably with their features and functionalities, subscribing to additional databases is expected to boost user satisfaction