The PLA Board of Directors and staff are committed to providing information on the rapidly-evolving situation with COVID-19 to PLA members. We have compiled some information below to consider as your library, community, and family respond to the crisis. If you have information you think would be helpful to add, please email email@example.com.
NOTE: This page contains links to third parties and to material developed and promoted by others. PLA does not assert that the included links are relevant and/or useful or are a complete list.
Free Webinar Series about COVID-19
Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Free Webinar Series
Thursday, March 26–Thursday, April 16, 2020
PLA is committed to providing information on the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 to PLA members and others working in public libraries. Join PLA for this new, free webinar series featuring updates on the current status of the pandemic, examples of how libraries are dealing with closures and serving their communities virtually, and opportunities to share and learn from each other. These webinars are free, but separate registration for each live webinar is required. More…
COVID-19 Response Survey
Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Survey of Response & Activities
One challenge national library organizations are hearing from our members, policymakers, and the media is an information gap related to public library response and activities during the current COVID-19 crisis. We hope library directors (or their designees) will help us to fill this gap by completing this survey.
From ALA and PLA
- ALA Recommendations to Libraries:
- ALA Executive Board recommends closing libraries to public (March 17, 2020): ALA recommends that libraries evaluate closing and reopening based on public health guidance, and recommends all library workers receive fully paid leave and health coverage.
- ALA Executive Board recommends libraries should leave their WiFi networks on even when their buildings are closed (March 23, 2020).
- ALA urges Congress for COVID-19 relief and asks library advocates to reach out to their legislators.
ALA Executive Director Tracie Hall releases statement on COVID-19 (March 13, 2020): This statement assures members that ALA is committed to supporting them, and highlights resources ALA is compiling (see below), and urges libraries to follow local health department and CDC guidelines about staying open and CDC recommendations for environmental cleaning and disinfection.
ALA Pandemic Preparedness Resources (updated continually): This page provides information about preparing for a pandemic, including library-specific policy suggestions and more universal resources.
- Programming Ideas and Help:
- Libraries Respond: Combating Xenophobia and Fake News in light of COVID-19 (updated continually): This page includes selected resources for learning the facts about Coronavirus and examples of how libraries are interrupting not only the spread of misinformation but also related racism and xenophobia.
- 6 COVID-19 Resources You (Probably) Don’t Know About (March 16, 2020): This resource from the ALA Public Programs Office connects to opportunities for virtual hangouts to discuss COVID-19 and more.
- Online Story Time & Coronavirus: It’s Fair Use, Folks (March 24, 2020): Read this article from the ALA Public Programs Office about the legality of posting recorded story times to your Facebook or YouTube page.
From Our Library Partners
Libraries Are a Refuge in Times of Crisis (March 13, 2020): This statement from the Institute for Museum and Library Services provides examples of how libraries are responding and some related resources.
From Health Authorities
A Guide to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) for Public Libraries (February 27, 2020): This resource from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine includes helpful links to the CDC, World Health Organization, and National Institutes of Health.
Free Handwashing Posters from the CDC.
Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: This tip sheet 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.
Sharing and Learning from Others
The CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response Facebook page is updated continually with helpful information and learning opportunities.
The Library Think Tank-#ALATT is a public Facebook Group where many library staff are sharing their stories and helpful information. You can read about how one library is being proactive and also learn from the CDC and other sources in Nyama Reed’s post.
- Also on Facebook, many librarians have joined Libraries Are Champions of Healthy Communities, and it’s a great place to share information during the pandemic. Request membership to join.
The Librarian By Day blog has posted Some Questions to Ask as Libraries Decide Whether to Stay Open or to Close.
For Self-Care, Suggested by the PLA Social Worker Task Force
Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety: An interactive and up-to-date resource from Mental Health America and Shine, with free meditations, information on isolation, and how to structure your day. It also has tips on how to talk to children about the virus.
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."