Several members have reached out to the Massachusetts Library System for information about how our libraries can prepare to respond to the coronavirus. In response, we’ve collaborated with the MBLC to compile a list of helpful resources to help our libraries stay up-to-date about the coronavirus. As of March 3, 2020, there is one confirmed case and one presumptive case of the coronavirus in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) reports that the current risk of exposure is low. However, with the growing number of cases in the world and country, it’s wise to stay up-to-date on the latest information. The Massachusetts DPH recommends that precautions to prevent the flu and cold might also protect against coronavirus. These precautions include proper hand washing, regular cleaning, and encouraging staff to stay home when sick. For more information about how libraries can prepare to respond to the coronavirus, explore the following resources including guidance on occupational health; hand washing posters; coronavirus fact sheets in multiple languages; and webinars for librarians to learn more.
Update to post (3/13/2020): A new, more comprehensive resource guide is available:
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Massachusetts Libraries
From the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019
Includes information about COVID-19, preparation in Massachusetts, prevention, testing, and treatment, travel information, guidance and recommendations, frequently asked questions, and printable fact sheets. The guidance for schools includes recommendations for good hygiene and regular cleaning that may also be helpful for libraries.
COVID-19 Cases, Quarantine and Monitoring (Mass DPH)
Information about COVID-19 cases and residents subject to quarantine in Massachusetts
Share Facts ABOUT COVID-19 (CDC)
Know the facts about coronavirus disease 2019 and help stop the rumors
Coronavirus Advice for the Public (World Health Organization)
Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus
Coronavirus Infections (MedlinePlus)
Includes a summary of coronavirus, how it spreads, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and prevention
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (CDC)
What you should know, situation updates, and information for specific audiences
How to Prepare for Coronavirus in the U.S. (Washington Post, March 3, 2020)
Occupational Health: Guidance for workers and employers
Interim Guidance for Business and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease (CDC) Recommended strategies for employers.
Includes recommendations to actively encourage sick employees to stay home; emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene for all employees; perform routine environmental cleaning; and advise employees before traveling to take certain steps.
COVID-19 Control and Prevention (US. Department of Labor)
General Guidance for all U.S. workers and employers
Information to Share with Library Staff and the Public
COVID-19 Printable Fact Sheets (Mass DPH)
Available in English, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, and Vietnamese
Handwashing posters from Mass DPH or Handwashing posters from CDC
Print or order these to display in your restrooms.
Hygiene-related posters from CDC
Includes Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands poster and Cover Your Cough poster
Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives (Button & Badges)
Post and share on your websites, blogs, and social media
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources (Boston Public Library)
Includes COVID-19 resources for the public, coping with stress, and avoiding scams
Disaster Distress Helpline 1 (800) 985-5990
Talk with a trained crisis counselor at SAMHSA’s hotline
Parent/Caregiver Guide to Helping Families Cope with the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (NCTSN)
What you should know, readiness, and response
Resources for Librarians about the Coronavirus
Pandemic Preparedness (American Library Association)
Outlines topics to include in an individual library policy on illness and/or pandemic prevention and preparedness; federal, state, and local resources; and additional resources such as “How to Do a Really Good Job Washing Your Hands” from NPR
A Guide to COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) for Public Libraries (NNLM)
Includes resources, news, maps & visualizations, and books
Coronavirus COVID-19 (Delaware Division of Libraries)
Includes resources, news, and books.
Coping with Stress During Infectious Disease Outbreaks (SAMHSA)
What you should know, signs of stress, how to relieve stress
Continuity of Operations Planning
In Case of Emergencies: Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning course (NLM Disaster Information Management Center)
Preparedness and Response (NNLM GMR)
Use the template to draft your plan.
Webinars for Librarians about the Coronavirus
Librarians Respond to Coronavirus and Other Pandemics (March 26, 2020: Library 2.0)
Pandemic! NLM Resources for Librarians to Assist Researchers and the Public in Understanding the Coronavirus and Influenza (March 25, 2020: Federal Depository Library Program)