Dive Brief:

  • Most libraries (98%) have closed their buildings to the public, but staff have quickly adapted their services by creating new virtual programs, expanding digital services and working with local government agencies, according to a recent survey by the Public Library Association (PLA).
  • Over 70% of respondents are using social media to share COVID-19 information, and more than 60% are using social media to promote census participation.
  • Prior to COVID-19, 81% of respondents offered public Wi-Fi access even when buildings were closed, and 12% of respondents have added that service in response to the pandemic. To address the digital divide, a smaller percentage of libraries have also expanded their public Wi-Fi range, provided mobile internet hotspots or used their bookmobile to provide internet access. “