Just released! Survey results of Ontario Public Library Response to COVID-19

While public libraries across Ontario were ordered to close to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in March, OLA’s Ontario Public Library Response to COVID-19 survey shows that libraries remained very active during this period of physical distancing. You can read the full report online here.


Libraries have continued to offer relevant programming and services to their communities. Libraries have been:

  • Offering digital resources to their communities.
  • Developing virtual programming for children and adults, including story times, book clubs, technology training, and more.
  • Amplifying public health messaging around COVID-19.
  • Organizing care calls to seniors and vulnerable populations.
  • Creating personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Facilitating card renewals and temporary/virtual card registration.

At the same time, the closure has had a significant impact on the way that libraries work:

  • Libraries saw a significant change in how their libraries have been staffed, with libraries reporting that some staff had temporarily stopped working.
  • 50% of libraries laid off or furloughed some staff members.
  • For those staff still working, many transitioned to working from home.
  • With this shift, libraries supported staff working from home, lending laptops or other devices and facilitating remote access to library systems.