6 COVID-19 Resources You (Probably) Don’t Know About

You’ve been to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. You’ve bookmarked the National Library of Medicine’s coverage. You’re getting notifications from your local public health officials, and you’re glued to the Johns Hopkins map. You know how to find information in a crisis; you’re a library worker, after all.

But with so much information out there about the coronavirus pandemic, it’s impossible to catch everything. The following resources can help you share vital information with the public whether your library is open to the public or temporarily closed; libraries that are still operating virtually might consider sharing them over the phone, in library e-newsletters or on social media.

hands typing on a laptop
Libraries that are closed to the public during the coronavirus pandemic may share health resources with their communities via their website or social media.

A guide to COVID-19 for public libraries

Created by the folks at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), this resource page compiles information from the CDC, World Health Organization (WHO) and National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) as well as information for Spanish-speaking patrons and helpful maps and visualizations.

A visual explanation of social distancing

You (and your patrons) may understand the basics of social distancing, but a picture is worth a thousand words. In “Why Outbreaks Like the Coronavirus Spread Exponentially, and How to ‘Flatten the Curve,’” the Washington Post shows in a series of simulations how isolating yourself from others can help stop the spread of disease. Also check out these infographics from Information is Beautiful.

A Facebook group for health-focused librarians

You may already be a member of ALA’s Programming Librarian Interest Group on Facebook. But did you know there is another Facebook group specifically for librarians and library workers who are interested in health and wellness? Hundreds of people have joined Libraries Are Champions of Healthy Communities, and it’s a great place to seek information and networking during the pandemic. Request membership to join.

Free, printable handwashing posters 

Yes, it’s being said a lot — but we could all use a reminder. Print one of the CDC’s free (and fun) handwashing posters or share with your patrons so they can print one out at home.

Virtual hangouts for educators

Every day during the week of March 16, Media Education Lab, a digital and media literacy center at the University of Rhode Island, is hosting a series of Virtually Virtual Hangouts. "As we are self-isolating during these difficult times, we want to provide space for conversation, dialogue and emotional support," the website states. Sessions will take place at 1 p.m. ET each day. Register to attend or check out the agendas first.

Free training videos from NNLM 

If your library is closed to the public, you may have some downtime. Check out this digest of online courses for health professionals, medical librarians, public librarians and others, offered by NNLM and its Regional Medical Libraries. While you’re there, learn more about your regional office.

And a bonus: ALA pandemic resources

Visit ALA’s Pandemic Preparedness page for a collection of news and resources compiled by the country’s largest library association.

What other resources are you finding helpful? Share them in the comments.