How COVID-19 Changed Libraries

The way things were before the COVID-19 pandemic, and the changes made after the virus started spreading, have led to many changes. Here are just a few examples of how COVID-19 changed libraries.

The Library of Congress announced that all of its buildings and facilities will be closed to the public as of March 12, 2020. All library programs and tours were also suspended or canceled until July 1, 2020. They recommend people make use of online resources such as Ask a Librarian and

In March of 2020, the American Library Association (ALA) recommended that all libraries close their doors to the public. This was done not only to protect library workers, but also the communities they served. The ALA encouraged all libraries to ensure that all library workers receive fully paid leave, including health coverage, while libraries are closed.

On March 24, 2020, Internet Archive announced a National Emergency Library Archive. As of that date, Internet Archive suspended waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in their lending library. The suspension will last through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later.

Mayor of San Francisco London Breed announced that as of March 16, 2020, the Recreation and Park Department and the San Francisco Public Library will begin to operate libraries and indoor recreation facilities as emergency care facilities for children of parents on the front lines of the COVID-19 outbreak and low-income families.

Penguin Random House offered libraries the option to license e-books and digital audio for one-year terms at a 50% prorated price. Macmillan abandoned its controversial embargo on new release e-books in public libraries.

Some libraries have waived their late-return fees during the pandemic. As some cities and counties start to reopen, there are libraries offering curbside pick up for library materials.

Related Articles at

Patten Free Library is Archiving Local COVID-19 Stories

Family History Libraries Temporarily Close Due to COVID-19

FamilySearch Digital Library

< Return To Blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.