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 and helping to inform their patrons.

What can libraries do?

    • Host events that help to inform the community. Assuming your local/state health department hasn’t issued recommendations against public gatherings, consider hosting an event to help inform the community about the facts. Reach out to partners such as the health department and see how the library can support accurate dissemination of information. Here are some example events:
      • Skokie (IL) Public Library, “Civic Lab Coronavirus: Distinguishing Fears from Facts.” Description: What is COVID-19 and how is it affecting people and communities across the globe? Explore resources and join discussion on coronavirus (February 26, 2020).
      • Hawaii State Public Library (Hilo), “Emerging Infectious Disease: COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)“. Description: Come learn about what federal, state, and local government actions are in place to prevent the introduction and spread of infectious disease, such as COVID-19, to Hawaii County (March 3, 2020).
      • Attleboro Public Library, “Coronavirus – Get the facts.” Description: The Library will be hosting Attleboro’s Health Department for an information session on the coronavirus (March 25, 2020).

Library-specific resource compilations

Many library organizations have compiled resources and examples for library staff and patrons.

More information about how libraries will deal with the impact of coronavirus will emerge. We will continue to update this list and will be interested in hearing more about how the response to the outbreak evolves and what role libraries will have within their communities.


Image credits: “A Healthy Future is in Your Hands”, CDC; Coronavirus Facts, Malaka Gharib/ NPR