Useful links from the State Librarian Julie Walker
- University System of Georgia Learning Everywhere – https://www.usg.edu/learningeverywhere
- Georgia public libraries and COVID-19 update – https://georgialibraries.org/coronavirusupdate/
GLA is using our role as a leader and advocate of Georgia libraries to call on all public and academic libraries in Georgia to close their doors at this time, reopening when guidance from public health officials indicates the risk from COVID-19 has significantly subsided.
In response to the most recent recommendations from the CDC and the White House, the Georgia Library Association supports all requests and efforts by library administrators, local boards, and governments, to temporarily close their facilities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
Furthermore, the Georgia Library Association supports all efforts by library administrators to see that their staffs are fairly compensated during any such closures or disruptions of services.
While typically public libraries may invite children to come to the library in the event of an emergency school closing, this is not the best course of action when trying to curb a contagious disease. Because containment works best when all organizations participate, many libraries and other cultural organizations are deciding to close while the schools are closed. Check the status of your local library via their website, or contact them directly here. Most academic libraries are open online and continue to support students and instructors via online services.
The GLA Executive Board is committed to supporting library workers, GLA members, and the communities we serve during these challenging times. For information about ALA resources on COVID-19, visit www.ala.org/tools/atoz/pandemic-preparedness.
The Georgia Library Association is committed to supporting its members, librarians, and library workers during these uncertain times.
We know that in times of crisis, libraries of all kinds play invaluable roles in supporting their communities both in-person and virtually. We are stewards of accurate information. We connect library users with local public health resources and services. Libraries can be key partners in empowering members of our community to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
The American Library Association is continually updating this resource page for the library community about pandemic prevention, including guidance on disinfecting workplaces and what individual staff and their library users can do to reduce the risk of contagion.
Libraries should follow local health department and CDC guidelines about whether to remain open during the pandemic.
GLA is aware that many higher education institutions are suspending or moving classes online and are making decisions about sustaining library services. We recognize that these decisions about whether to remain open are best made locally and should include consideration of the wellbeing of staff and library users. We also know that in the last several days, many public library systems across Georgia have made the difficult decision to close. Similarly, as school systems send students home or move to remote learning, school libraries are closing, too. The Georgia Library Media Association has a list of resources.
We expect most libraries will close, but if libraries stay open, they should follow CDC recommendations for environmental cleaning and disinfection. They should also encourage their staff and users to take steps to avoid spreading germs, including:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying home when you are sick.
- Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash.