VLA COVID-19 Statements and Information

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Given the additional information VLA has received and has been monitoring from the CDC and the National Institute of Health, as well as statements this week from the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries, we recommend that libraries in VA immediately suspend public operation. We suggest your staff put forth effort to educate and provide virtual and online services to your communities.

The Illinois Library Association has created this resource page with specific information from the National Institute of Health and the CDC about the length of time the virus might live on surfaces.

Here is information from the New York Library Association. VLA will be working to create pages with resources and other information shortly.


Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Virginia Library Association recognizes that choosing to close public libraries in the Commonwealth is a difficult decision, but one that must be made if we are to take the health, safety and well-being of all of our citizens seriously.

Libraries are community gathering places; the closures and cancellations around our state are intended to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. The school closures mandated by Governor Ralph Northam will put an increased burden on public libraries and may, in all likelihood, contribute to the spread of the virus. The Governor today (Sunday, 3/15) has cancelled all events where 100 people or more will gather. Given the volume of people who pass through libraries at any given time, now is the time to begin a plan for closure.

This situation is challenging. As information professionals, we endeavor to make the best decisions with the information we have. The decision to close should be made at the local level; we suggest each library follow guidance issued from your local counties and cities, as well as the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Lisa R. Varga, MLS
Executive Director
Virginia Library Association
P.O. Box 56312
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Phone: (757) 689-0594 Fax: (757) 447-3478
[email protected]