Analysis of Academic Libraries Strategies and Activities in the World and Iran in the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis Period

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Faculty of Information Science, Iranian Research Institute for Information Science and Technology (Irandoc), Tehran, Iran.

2 Department of Information Science and Knowledge studies, Faculty of Psychology and Educuational Sciences, University of Kharazmi, Tehran, Iran.


Objective: This paper aims to identify and evaluate the most important strategies and actions taken by Iranian university libraries during the COVID-19 epidemic crisis, in comparison with international examples.
Methods: This applied research employed an applied research approach, utilizing a descriptive-analytical survey method in two parts. Firstly, it analyzed the situation of Iranian university libraries across two dimensions: education and research, in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Secondly, it examined the role of these libraries in terms of social responsibility, comparing them with international examples. The research tools included a researcher-made checklist and a questionnaire. The statistical population consisted of both Iranian and international academic libraries. Therefore, 301 international academic libraries were surveyed, along with 33 accessible and responsive samples from Iranian academic libraries and world academic libraries (selected based on the Times Higher Education world ranking). 
Results: The state of university libraries in Iran, in comparison with the most important university libraries in the world during this pandemic, revealed that the strategies and activities of Iranian university libraries lacked balanced and coordinated attention to both education and research. Furthermore, the strategies and activities of Iranian academic libraries were not synchronized with those of international academic libraries.
 Conclusion: Findings showed that the efforts of academic libraries worldwide in facing one of their most difficult challenges—the COVID-19 crisis—were significant. Additionally, the commitment towards social responsibility in these libraries was noteworthy, but the amount of attention paid to the activities of this aspect in Iran was low. The integration and connection between university libraries, educational and technological centers or units, and research and laboratory centers are the sole solution during similar events.


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