Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

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.

Highlights:

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.