A Publication of the Public Library Association Public Libraries Online

Posts Tagged ‘covid-19 and libraries’

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Public Libraries are Feeling the Impact of the Latest Surges

As we near the 2-year anniversary of the first lockdown, libraries continue to feel the effects of skyrocketing COVID-19 case numbers. The Delta and Omicron surges have forced libraries to adjust yet again in the face of rampant staffing shortages, testing demand, and schools going remote. Libraries are constantly adjusting to continue being a resource to their communities.

illustration of a kid with a mask on

Is COVID-19 Still Preventing Indoor Library Activities?

When COVID swept across the country last year, libraries closed their doors to the public. Programming for children, teens, and adults went virtual and for the most part was very successful. Over time as buildings opened and services were restored, one thing that remained off limits was indoor activities and events. However, with vaccination rates climbing over the summer, many libraries explored reintroducing indoor activities. How many have taken that next step?

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The Return to Public Spaces: Alleviating Anxiety for Staff, Patrons, and Yourself

All of us have different feelings related to the end of the pandemic and a return to normal life. As keepers of a public space, librarians are wise to bear this in mind when thinking about our library guests, staff, and ourselves.

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COVID-19 Operating Restrictions Ease but Differences Remain

Now that vaccines are available and virus transmission rates are dropping, public library service is largely being restored across the United States, but at vastly different timelines.

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Helping a Community Coping with Loss and Grief

Over half a million Americans have died from COVID-19 in almost a year. It is an enormous loss for our country and deeply felt in every community. Public libraries are in a prime position to help community members dealing with these tragic losses and many are already doing great work in this area.

Hazard Sign Yellow Triangle with Black Exclamation Mark

Health Hazards of Librarianship: Not Just Paper Cuts

One of my colleagues used to say: “We get to work in the candy store.” Indeed, many outside the profession may read the title of this article and joke: Health hazards of librarianship? Like what, paper cuts or falling off book ladders? However, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought to light, there are health risks entailed by all front line workers, as well as some more specific to library employees.

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Collections May Be Low Risk but Public Spaces are Not

Public libraries are caught in a Catch-22 where their services are low risk for individuals who are able to access the internet from home, but increase the risk for marginalized patrons, who rely on shared public space.

illustration of a kid with a mask on

A Covid-19 Digital Archive

Participatory digital archives allow libraries to collect community responses to the pandemic in real time.

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Libraries Contemplate Re-Opening

Months into the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic that has cost thousands of lives and brought the world to a halt, public libraries are doing what we do best: looking toward the future we hope to build together.

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Mindfulness in Times of Extreme Stress

The benefits of regular mindfulness practice are relevant personally and professionally as we continue to live in the upheaval wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are enduring a collective trauma. What does this mean for us physically, physiologically, and mentally?

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Engaging with Patrons via Social Media

We’re learning how to connect with patrons on the fly. Here are a few ways my library is keeping our patrons informed and entertained on social media.

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Collaborative Resource Sharing in Difficult Times

As libraries shutter their doors and send staff to work from home during this crisis, many are scrambling to still offer content, virtually, to their communities. These tips will help you find high-quality and engaging content to share, as we all shelter this storm.

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COVID-19: The Impact on Public Libraries

Public libraries hustle to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.


reading room of a large urban public library

Resisting “Vocational Awe” During the Pandemic

In the wake of COVID-19, it’s time to reexamine questions: Is vocational awe harming us? Is it harming the profession? Is it harming the public?

photo of dictionary definition of the word empathy

Building a More Empathetic Library Culture

In these times of great uncertainty, anxiety, and fear, empathy is a valuable skill in libraries. No matter our position or job title, we all have opportunities to lead, and can utilize this crisis to build more empathetic cultures within our organizations.