Libraries and the Coronavirus: Evolving Information and Resources
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak is having a global impact, and affecting local communities. Staff in libraries of all types, geographic locations, and sizes are learning the facts about this public health crisis, informing the public, and adapting services and programming to meet changing community needs. Last update, December 30, 2021.
WebJunction Articles and Events
- Reopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums (REALM) Information Hub: A COVID-19 Research Project
- April 13 Virtual Town Hall: Libraries and the COVID-19 Crisis
- Keeping Your Hours Current in Online Searches
- Youth Programming Goes Virtual—Storytimes, Crafts, Teen Activities, and More
- Recent Social Library Editions, highlighting how libraries are responding to COVID-19
- Library Storytimes during COVID-19, Part 1 and Part 2
- COVID 19 Civil Legal Resources Organized by State (xls) and recent webinar, Libraries Prepare to Answer Civil Legal Questions in Times of Crisis
- Additional OCLC Information and Resources
Library-specific Resource Collections
- American Libraries Association, Pandemic Preparedness and NEW COVID-19 Recovery
- American Association of School Libraries, Pandemic Resources for School Librarians
- California Library Association, COVID-19 Resources
- EveryLibrary, Resources for Libraries on Coronavirus
- IFLA, Key Resources for Libraries in responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic
- infoDOCKET, 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
- Libraries Step Up (in times of crisis), Facebook group
- National Network of Libraries of Medicine, A Guide to COVID-19 for Public Libraries
- Public Library Association, Resources on COVID-19
On Working Remotely and Self-care
- Library Journal, Library, Archives Workers Share Work-From-Home Ideas
- The Science of Well-Being: A free, structured online learning course with videos and readings, where you will engage in a series of challenges designed to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. Offered by Yale University.
- The Happiness Lab: A podcast by Yale professor Dr Laurie Santos (of The Science of Well-Being course) that will take you through the latest scientific research and share some surprising and inspiring stories that will forever alter the way you think about happiness.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Resource Guide: This COVID-19 resource document addresses questions about anxiety, health insurance, losing a loved one, and more.
- Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: This tip sheet from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration describes feelings and thoughts you may have during and after social distancing, quarantine, and isolation. It also suggests ways to care for your behavioral health during these experiences and provides resources for more help."
Virtual Library Programming and Services – Resources and Examples
- Virtual Storytime Services Guide, Association for Library Services to Children
- Iowa Youth Services COVID Programming Guide, a collection of by Angie Manfredi of "how to program" during socially distanced times
- Remote Services Libraries Can Provide, a growing list in Google Docs begun by Jefferson County R.J. Bailar Public Library
- From ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, Calling Users in a Pandemic: Best Practices to Protect Privacy
- Super Library Marketing, How Libraries are Responding to the Coronavirus Threat and How Your Library Can Prep for Any Crisis
- Youth Services Shout-Out blog, Offline and Feeling Fine: Ideas for Programming Unvirtually
- The Indianapolis Public Library, Book Suggestions & Tips for Talking to Kids about the Coronavirus
- Virtual storytimes for kids: Authors and venues go online amid coronavirus, provides a compilation of online events from authors and publishers.
- Programming Librarian Interest Group on Facebook has many posts about programming, including this one specific to serving adults and seniors (you'll need to request to join the group).
- COVID-19 Publisher Information Directory, maintained by School Library Journal, with children's publishers that have temporarily altered policies.
- Author Permissions- Book Reading Recordings, Google doc
- WebJunction, Youth Programming Goes Virtual—Storytimes, Crafts, Teen Activities, and More
- From the academic community:
Materials Handling Information and other Disaster Planning Resources
- REopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM), COVID-19 research partnership with IMLS, OCLC and Battelle, to inform safe handling of collections, reopening practices for libraries, museums
- American Library Association, Planning for Reopening Resources
- IMLS Webinar, Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections , and summary of webinar information in, Materials Quarantine: No More than 24 hours needed, per CDC Epidemiologist
- New Jersey State Library publication, "Librarian’s Disaster Planning and Community Resiliency Guidebook." This resource helps libraries to consider a plan for a disaster response, and much of it can relate to public health crises.
- New Jersey State Library, COVID-19 Pandemic Resources and Plans for Library Reopening
- American Libraries, How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic
- Materials Quarantine: No More than 24 hours needed, per CDC Epidemiologist
- Australian Library and Information Association, Australian libraries responding to COVID-19: Checklist for reopening libraries
- Library Journal, Novel Strategies for a Novel Virus: Designing Resilient Libraries for a Post-COVID World
3D Printing of Medical Equipment – Resources and Examples
- National Institutes of Health, 3D Printing Medical Equipment in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Library Journal, How Library Maker Spaces Can #FlattentheCurve
- Ruth Metz Associates, Libraries and 3D Printer-made Masks, Face Shields, and Component Parts for High-Risk Health Care Workers
- MIT Emergency Ventilator (E-Vent) Project
- American Libraries, Using 3D to Make PPE - Library resources help create much-needed face shields
- School Library Journal, Educators Use 3-D Printers to Create and Donate PPE
Libraries Sharing COVID-19 Information – Examples
- Lexington (SC) Public Library, features recommendations and a robust compilation of local, national and world information
- Georgetown University, Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center, provides information about preventative actions and updates about the impact on campus life
- The University of Iowa, Coronavirus | COVID-19 | Guide to information sources
- Georgetown County Library (SC), a Spanish-language video about staying safe during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Library Closure Information, Data Collection, and Surveys in the Field
There are several initiatives underway to collect information from libraries on how the pandemic is impacting the field. Participating in these data collection efforts and surveys can help colleagues around the country see what similar organizations are doing, and it also can surface needs. If you are able, please consider providing information about your library and help us all stay informed.
- The Public Library Association has collected data from public libraries through a survey to "help advance national policy advocacy for libraries, and increase our shared knowledge across the field and with the media."
- Google sheet project, Public Libraries closed for COVID-10, started by Michael Sauers, Director of Technology at dospace.org, and Julie Erickson, with support from Heather Braum.
- Marshall Breeding, Library Responses to COVID-19 Crisis. "We are collecting data on how each library is responding to COVID-19 in libraries.org. This information will be useful in communicating the status of individual libraries and to the broader community in analyzing the general response trends."
- Ithaka S+R, US Academic Library Response to COVID19. This survey is structured to allow responders to provide updates as the situation evolves, and also makes live survey results available.
- Also check out the article, "The First 24 Hours of Survey Data" where the researchers look at the preliminary findings.
- And in Library Journal, Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Christine Wolff-Eisenberg Discuss Academic Library Response to COVID-19
- Public Library News is maintaining a list of public libraries that are closed in the U.K. You can add your library by contacting them via Twitter.
- infoDOCKET, Library-Related Event Closings, Cancellations and Updated Due to COVID-19 Concerns
- Messaging from the King County Library System on library closures.
- Examples of library responses internationally, from the EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme, You can’t keep a good public library (locked) down
- EDUCAUSE COVID-19 QuickPoll Results: Fall Planning for Education and Student Support
- CLIR, COVID (Re)Collections, a series exploring responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by library, cultural heritage, and information professionals. Share your story here.
- Canadian Urban Libraries Council gathered responses via the Public Library Services Post Covid-19 Survey.
- Libraries Connected published Libraries: An essential part of local recovery, an advocacy guide to demonstrate the importance of public libraries to local communities as they work to recover from COVID-19.
- Public Libraries in Europe and COVID-19, National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe (NAPLE). Updated findings from 22 European countries regarding the way that COVID-19 affected public library services up until July 2020.
Information and Resources from other sectors, federal, state and local
- Centers for Disease Control, hand-washing reminders and Get Your Community- and Faith-Based Organizations Ready for Coronavirus Disease
- COVID-19 Resources for State Leaders
- COVID-19 fact sheets available in over 35 languages from COVID-19 Health Literacy Project
- NPR published a helpful cartoon for kids, Just for Kids: A Comic Exploring the New Coronavirus
- A Mini Clearinghouse on Coronavirus, Created by Two School Librarians (SLJ)
- COVID-Explained, maintained by a team of researchers and students at Brown, MIT, Harvard, Mass General and elsewhere
- Related to legal service in times of COVID-19 see the collection of COVID 19 Civil Legal Resources Organized by State (xls) and the recent webinar, Libraries Prepare to Answer Civil Legal Questions in Times of Crisis
We will continue to update this list with additional information and resources as library and community responses evolve.