Libraries Respond: Combating Xenophobia and Fake News in light of COVID-19


As the American Library Association (ALA) continues to track the development of the coronavirus, racial fears and anxieties have become a dominant frame in which people evaluate concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus infection. Additionally, the World Health Organization has described the secondary issue of an infodemic, which they define as “an overabundance of information — some accurate and some not — that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.” This page includes selected resources for sharing the facts and examples of how libraries are interrupting not only the spread of misinformation but also related racism and xenophobia.

ALA also recognizes the impact a public health crisis can have on all library workers and has included resources on how libraries are caring for their staff and managing/suspending operations.


Racialization - the act or process of imbuing a person with a consciousness of race distinctions or of giving a racial character to something or making it serve racist ends

Sinophobia - the fear or disdain of China, or Chinese people, their language or culture

Xenophobia - fear and hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything that is strange or foreign

Definitions are taken from Meriam-Webster. 

ALA Resources

Library Resources

Additional Resources

News Coverage