In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Public Library Association (PLA) coordinated with several ALA units and other library organizations, including ACRL,to survey the library community to understand the current impacts the crisis is having on their operations, programs, services, and finances.
As a follow up to PLA’s March 2020 Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19 Survey, a new American Library Association (ALA) survey of U.S. libraries documents a shift in services to support students, faculty, and communities at large during the crisis and phased preparations for the months ahead. More than 3,800 K-12 school, college and university, public, and other libraries from all 50 states responded to the survey between May 12–18, 2020.
A pandemic is an outbreak of a disease that occurs over a wide geographic area and affects an exceptionally high proportion of the population. (Merriam-Webster Online). This page created by ALA provides information about preparing for a pandemic, including library-specific policy suggestions and more universal resources on pandemic education, prevention and preparation. Some of the resources are specific to influenza outbreaks but can be used more universally to help educate and inform decisions on pandemic prevention and preparedness.
As 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 learning the facts about Coronavirus and examples of how libraries are interrupting not only the spread of misinformation but also related racism and xenophobia.