Thousands of libraries all over North America are cancelling events at their branches. Even large libraries such as the Library of Queens and Brooklyn have suspended all events, such as children’s reading sessions. This is primarily due to the Coronavirus outbreak, which as prompted the library of Calgary to remove all toys from the library.
The three largest libraries in New York issued a joint statement “The decision to cancel library programs was not taken lightly, as programs such as story times, technology training classes, and English language classes are lifelines for so many,” according to the joint statement. “But considering the current situation, and the need to limit large crowds, this was the most responsible path forward to support the health and well-being of our communities.”
The Thunder Bay public library system said “In the interest of supporting the ongoing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19, the library will be suspending all programming, both internal and external, effective today [Friday] at 5 p.m. through April 6, 2020,” reads the statement.
“The health and safety of our patrons is incredibly important to us,” said David Johnson, executive director of Fayetteville Public Library. “We respect the precautions that our city is taking to ensure everyone’s health, and we recommend that everyone take care of themselves, which will in turn protect our community.”
Stevens County issued the following statement “Your health and safety is our highest priority. In the interest of protecting the high-risk populations we serve and the high-risk populations who volunteer for us, the Library is canceling all programs, events, and outreach through April 5, 2020. We will re-evaluate the situation at that time.”
“Our goal is to limit any community transmission of the COVID-19 coronavirus,” said Executive Director Heather Dieffenbach of the Lexington Public Library system. “We are listening to state and local leaders as they recommend people not congregate in groups and observe social distancing. We will continue to evaluate the real and potential threat of the global pandemic on our local community. Please visit us virtually on our website or social media pages for your entertainment and educational needs.”
All Santa Monica Public Library branches will be closed Mar. 14 through Mar. 31, except for the Pico Branch Library, which will close starting Friday. The Virginia Avenue Park campus facilities will be closed Friday through Mar. 16. “In cooperation with federal, state and county guidance, we are taking bold and aggressive steps to reduce the spread of illness — while continuing to serve our community with vital services,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “This is a time of social distancing, but Santa Monica’s strong social fabric is what will see us through this challenging time.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.