Social Library, COVID-19 Edition

Jennifer Peterson /

Image courtesy Peoria Public Library on Facebook

Our lives and libraries are increasingly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. We're using this edition of our Social Library series to highlight a handful of examples of how libraries are communicating with their communities and innovative ways they're adapting to the limitations of social distancing on library services and programs. WebJunction has also created Libraries and the Coronavirus: Evolving Information and Resources with additional examples and resources that we'll continue to update in the coming weeks. If you'd like to see your library featured in an upcoming edition of the Social Library, let us know via social@webjunction.org or find us on Facebook.

  • Sayville Library in New York posted an important Press Release to Facebook. "The Sayville Library, its Board of Trustees, and Administration have been closely monitoring all developments pertaining to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. It has been determined effective March 14, 2020 to be necessary to close the library until further notice in order to protect the health and well-being of patrons and staff." They also noted:
    • If you have items that are due, you will NOT accrue late fees. No late fees will be accrued on materials that are due during this closure period.
    • The book drops will be closed so we ask that you please hold onto your materials and not to leave them outside the Library.
    • If you have holds that are ready for pick-up, they will be held for you until the closure period has ended.
  • Marion Public Library in Indiana posted a brilliant video about online services to update their community. "Afraid to leave the house because of the spreading worries surrounding the coronavirus?" They mention that they will be auto-renewing books currently checked out, extend checkout times and raise check out limits, in addition to highlighting online resources like Hoopla, Libby, Overdrive.
  • Los Gatos Library in California has moved their storytime to a Facebook Live Storytime on Wednesdays at 10:30. "Today we are reading "Bark Park" by Trudy Kishler, "Some Pets" by Angela DiTerlizzi, and "There is a Bird on Your Head" by Mo Willems. We're singing a new song by Music Together....check out the lyrics here. And of course, our dance party song, Clap Your Hands, is here." They announced it the day before, "Facebook Live Storytime this morning at 10:30....All our in person programming is canceled in March, but that won't stop the Storytime fun. Join us from home, all FOUR of your Storytime Librarians will be there. See you soon!" We've seen some discussion about needing author permission for books read online. Someone has kindly started a Google doc to keep track of authors posting information about permission to read their books online: Author Permissions- Book Reading Recordings.