COVID-19 Resources for Libraries
WiFi in Library Parking Lots
The American Library Association (ALA) recommends that public libraries should leave WiFi networks on and available to the public during closures due to COVID-19. On February 23, 2020 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a public notice confirming that community use of E-Rate supported WiFi networks is permitted during school and library clousures due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Public K-12 Schools in Arkansas are closed to on-site instruction through at least April 17. WiFi available in libraries’ parking lots will provide a key resource for students’ and families’ ability to complete school activities during this time.
The Arkansas State Library has created a spreadsheet and map of publicly available, free WiFi available in library parking lots throughout the state of Arkansas. Information is self-reported by the individual libraries. Please contact your local library for more information about WiFi and library services during the COVID-19 outbreak. We encourage users to access these sites from within a parked vehicle.
Some academic institutions also have WiFi available in the parking lot.
Best Practices for Handling and Disinfecting Library Materials
The following suggestions for quarantining and sanitizing materials are based on the currently available data and may change as research evolves. The following information should not be interpreted as medical advice.
There are no studies that specifically answer the question of how transmissible COVID-19 might be from the most common library materials such as coated and uncoated paper, bookcloth, or polyester book jackets. Preliminary research suggests that the COVID-19 virus can survive on surfaces for up to three days or longer. Because library materials are made up of multiple types of surfaces, quarantine of materials from 3-14 days is preferred over aggressive cleaning strategies:
- Wear gloves when retrieving materials to limit exposure (Nitrile preferred)
- Place materials on carts or in boxes for quarantine; do not check materials in until after quarantine
- Quarantine materials in an out of the way location with little staff traffic
- Quarantine for 3-14 days; label cart or boxes with quarantine ending date
- Sanitize cart or other surfaces where quarantined materials were stored
- Double-bag smaller objects in zipper-style plastic bags
- Books with plastic jackets can withstand small amounts of liquid cleaner and disinfectant after quarantine
- Disinfect DVD/audio book, etc. cases after quarantine; clean discs via established disc-cleaning processes
Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections
American Libraries: How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic
COVID-19 Basics: Disinfecting Cultural Resources
Mayo Clinic Q&A: Length of Time COVID-19 Can Live Outside an Organism Varies Considerably
Public Health Emergencies: COVID-19 & Cultural Institutions
Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
Resources for Digital Library Services During COVID-19
Library Journal InfoDocket
The links maintained on this page from Library Journal provide updates and special offers from vendors and other companies that work with the library community.
Live Streaming Story Time
According to Sarah Ostman, ALA Public Programs Office, there is "growing consensus among copyright experts that posting online story times to continue mission-driven library and educational services during the coronavirus emergency is a fair use."
See Online Story Time & Coronavirus: It’s Fair Use, Folks, from the American Library Association Public Programs Office.for more information.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Penguin Random House is permitting libraries to create and share story time and read-aloud videos and live events. Story time in which a Penguin Random House book is read out loud and the book is displayed (for picture books) may be streamed live, in real time, on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook Live, Twitter, and Instagram.
Visit Penguin Random House for more details and guidance.
Online children's book databases includes animated talking picture books, read-alongs, ebooks, and educational games. Free for public libraries through at least August 31. Public libraries should email email@example.com with subject line Free TumbleBooks in order to receive free links to all three TumbleBook databases.