Nonprofit Quarterly: Libraries Face Reopening Dilemma as Pandemic Escalates

Nonprofit Quarterly: Libraries Face Reopening Dilemma as Pandemic Escalates. “Schools aren’t the only public institutions locked in debate over the need to reopen amid skyrocketing coronavirus infections nationwide. Libraries are facing the same dilemma. Library services are more critical than ever as COVID-19 continues affecting communities across the US. Yet as library systems eye reopening to the public, the surge of new coronavirus cases in most states could keep doors closed for months to come.”

Times Higher Education: Creating and supporting digital archives to improve access and research

Times Higher Education: Creating and supporting digital archives to improve access and research. “Now more than ever, there is a demand for universities to make available content in digital form from archives and collections that include books, primary sources and multimedia material. However, the cost of this type of digital transformation is considerable. To make the job easier, Jisc, the UK education and research technology solutions not-for-profit, is bringing together libraries, publishers and academic institutions to make digital collections more accessible.”

Route Fifty: Libraries Begin Partial Reopening as Covid-19 Cases Surge

Route Fifty: Libraries Begin Partial Reopening as Covid-19 Cases Surge. “Some libraries, including the Wheaton Public Library outside of Chicago and eight branches in New York City, will soon begin offering ‘grab and go’ services, giving patrons access to a limited area to return or pick up materials. The Brown County Library in central Wisconsin is open for computer use by appointment only, while the Sitka Public Library in Alaska plans to welcome patrons but enforce a ‘no lingering’ rule as well as close three days per week for extended cleaning.”

Institute of Museum and Library Services: Mellon Foundation Invests $1.5 Million in Federal COVID-19 Research Project to Support Libraries, Museums Reopening

Institute of Museum and Library Services: Mellon Foundation Invests $1.5 Million in Federal COVID-19 Research Project to Support Libraries, Museums Reopening. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services today announced the receipt of a $1,500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support materials research for collections care and the reopening of libraries and museums during the COVID-19 pandemic. As libraries and museums around the country begin to resume operations and reopen to the public, the need for clear information to support the handling of core museum, library, and archival materials has become increasingly urgent.”

New York Times: Libraries Strive to Stay ‘Community Living Rooms’ as They Reopen

New York Times: Libraries Strive to Stay ‘Community Living Rooms’ as They Reopen. “Libraries around the country are tiptoeing toward reopening, but they’re not just trying to figure out how to safely lend out books. These are community hubs where parents bring their toddlers for story time, where people come to use the computer, where book groups meet. Now all of that has to be rethought.”

Publishers Weekly: Changes Loom as Public Libraries Begin to Reopen

Publishers Weekly: Changes Loom as Public Libraries Begin to Reopen . “After three months of an unprecedented lockdown to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, public libraries across the U.S. are now in the process of reopening. A recent American Library Association membership survey found 37% of respondents expect a phased reopening to begin in June or July, with 47% still unsure when their buildings will reopen to the public. But whenever that happens, the public libraries that will emerge from this historic pause will be changed from the ones that closed their doors in March, librarians tell PW, both in the short term, and into the future.”

COVID-19: A camel library takes remote learning to new levels (ReliefWeb)

ReliefWeb: COVID-19: A camel library takes remote learning to new levels. “A camel library is giving children out of school in some of Ethiopia’s most remote villages a unique opportunity to continue reading and learning, despite COVID-19 school closures. Save the Children first began the camel library in 2010. The programme includes 21 camels, which are traditionally used by communities in the Somali region of Ethiopia to transport goods across the hot lowland areas. Camels can carry up to 200 storybooks at a time in wooden boxes strapped to their backs. The project currently reaches over 22,000 children in 33 villages.”

Duke University Libraries: Putting the ‘Global’ Back Into Global Pandemic, Part I

Duke University Libraries: Putting the ‘Global’ Back Into Global Pandemic, Part I. “In order to help foster a more informed and compassionate approach to the current global health crisis, the subject specialists of Duke Libraries’ International and Area Studies Department have decided to devote a series of blog posts to the topic of plagues, epidemics, and pandemics in each of the world regions for which they collect materials and about which they offer reference and library instruction. Our goal is not to provide exhaustive coverage of the topic, but merely to suggest one or two resources—preferably those available online and in English—that each subject specialist has found particularly meaningful or useful in helping him or her to understand the role that infectious diseases have played in the countries, continents, and world areas for which s/he is responsible.”

Mashable: How to download free ebooks and digital audiobooks from public libraries

Mashable: How to download free ebooks and digital audiobooks from public libraries. “Among the 2,500 library systems the Public Library Association surveyed over the last week of March, 74 percent have expanded their online ebook and audio streaming services. Part of that, some libraries told Mashable, is due to the increase in demand since states issued shelter-in-place orders in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Still, the number and diversity of digital offerings vary from metropolitan to rural libraries and remain limited relative to physical materials — but more on that later. The best thing you can do now is put your name on the waiting list (I know, I know) for all the free ebooks and digital audiobooks you want. Good news: We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about digital lending so you can get the darn thing done already.”

What Librarians Are Doing to Support Students and Teachers in the Shutdown | SLJ COVID-19 Survey (School Library Journal)

School Library Journal: What Librarians Are Doing to Support Students and Teachers in the Shutdown | SLJ COVID-19 Survey. “School Library Journal’s School COVID-19 Response Survey queried K-12 librarians from April 2 to April 12 about their experience. More than 1,000 librarians responded, providing information about preparedness for remote learning; how librarians are supporting students and teachers, and more. Topics included services they have provided staff and students, school schedules and curriculum, plans for returned library books when schools reopen, and the pandemic’s possible impact on future purchasing.”

Ars Technica: University libraries offer online “lending” of scanned in-copyright books

Ars Technica: University libraries offer online “lending” of scanned in-copyright books. “The coronavirus crisis has forced the closure of libraries around the world, depriving the public of access to millions of printed books. Books old enough to be in the public domain may be available for free download online. Many recent books are available to borrow in e-book form. But there are many other books—especially those published in the mid-to-late 20th century—that are hard to access without going to a physical library. A consortium of university libraries called HathiTrust recently announced a solution to this problem, called the Emergency Temporary Access Service. It allows participating HathiTrust member libraries to offer their patrons digital scans of books that they can ‘check out’ and read online.”

American Library Association: Public libraries launch, expand services during COVID-19 pandemic

American Library Association: Public libraries launch, expand services during COVID-19 pandemic. “As public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways. Those are among the chief findings the Public Library Association (PLA) announced today in the broadest survey of public libraries’ response to the pandemic to date, with 2,545 unique responses nationwide. Most respondents (98%) reported their buildings were closed to the public but, in many cases, staff continued to expand access to digital resources, launch virtual programs and coordinate services with local government agencies.”

American Libraries: How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic

American Libraries: How Public Libraries Are Responding to the Pandemic. “On April 9, the Public Library Association (PLA) announced the release of the broadest survey to date—with 2,545 unique responses nationwide, representing 28% of all US public libraries—on how public libraries are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The findings show that as public libraries close their buildings to the public, staff continue to serve their communities in innovative ways.”

NBC News: Library workers fight for safer working conditions amid coronavirus pandemic

NBC News: Library workers fight for safer working conditions amid coronavirus pandemic. “In Hennepin County, Minnesota, 220 library workers face a dilemma: take unpaid leave or get reassigned to work in hotels housing homeless people, including some with COVID-19 symptoms, with no extra pay. The offer came last week from county Administrator David Hough, who told staff that there wasn’t enough work for them to do from home while the libraries were closed. Workers who don’t want to move to the higher-risk jobs — of which there are only 50 positions — can use their remaining paid time off or eat into future paid leave allocations that they will owe the county.”