Pandemic Preparedness for Colorado Libraries – Updated 3/31

Illustration of Coronavirus
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Image credit: CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS

UPDATED 3/31/2020 – scroll to end for additional resources

As we watch the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) spread in the United States, libraries are taking many steps to be prepared in the event that it reaches their community. Library policies, emergency procedures, and providing information resources for panicked patrons are some of the ways that libraries are playing an important role in emergency preparedness.

There is no state-mandated response for libraries in Colorado. Public libraries should follow the guidance of their local policies and procedures, follow the direction of your local governing authorities, and also work with local health departments. School, academic, and special libraries should follow the guidance of their parent organization. It is important to keep calm, and seek factual information and guidance from reputable organizations, when responding locally to COVID-19. Here are some resources that may prove to be helpful as your library makes decisions about how best to serve your community.

Official sources of information from state, national, and global health organizations are a good place to start to learn more about COVID-19.

Information on the Outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (State of Colorado)

Library administration, directors and boards may need to make decisions about if and when to close the library. Administration also needs to consider what procedures to implement to ensure a safe environment for library users and staff, and to respond ethically to the situation. Several professional organizations have published guidelines to support the administrative and management work of libraries.

Front line staff in libraries may be looking for ways to share factual information with library users, and for ways to do so without causing a sense of panic. Resources have been created to help share age- and audience- appropriate factual information.

UPDATE: additional resources added 3/12/2020

UPDATE: additional resources added 3/16/2020

UPDATE: additional resources added 3/20/2020

UPDATE: additional resources added 3/31/2020

Crystal Schimpf