Economic stimulus package includes IMLS digital projects, relief.

American Library Association • March 27, 2020

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Federal relief package supports libraries

Advocacy update

Kathi Kromer writes: “Libraries were included in the largest economic stimulus package in history, which passed March 27. The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act includes $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital inclusion projects and more than $30 billion in relief for schools and colleges, plus billions more for state and local governments and nonprofit organizations. The stimulus package also includes libraries—on Main Street, in schools, and on campuses—as part of a massive, long-overdue effort to ensure digital equity in America. Read a summary of CARES Act provisions for libraries, education, and cultural heritage institutions.”...

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 27

How to sanitize collections in a pandemic

Books awaiting sanitization

Lara Ewen writes: “Keeping libraries safe is important for both workers and guests. But during the current COVID-19 pandemic, questions about how to do that—particularly when it comes to materials and surfaces—have complicated answers. It’s an unprecedented situation. Conservators, who are experienced in diagnosing and repairing collection damage, say that historical information on sanitizing library materials is lacking. Despite anecdotal evidence in a 2019 article in Smithsonian Magazine, Evan Knight, preservation specialist at the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, says there’s very little historical data available. ‘[There’s] nothing published or shared from previous epidemics,’ he says.”...

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 27; Smithsonian magazine, Aug. 23, 2019

Sponsored by the Public Library Association


Libraries’ next “act” in health during COVID-19

March 23 marked the 10-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Despite the ever-increasing challenges during the COVID-19 outbreak, one fact remains: Libraries still play a role in public health and our communities depend on us as connectors to information.

Through PLA’s second annual Libraries Connecting You to Coverage initiative, libraries can act now with a suite of turn-key resources to educate your communities about the coverage options they have, the resources they need, and how to prepare for the uncertainty ahead.

Read more....

University libraries help hospitals with PPE donations

Personal protective equipment donated by University of Maryland’s Preservation Department

Timothy Inklebarger writes: “Shortages of surgical masks, N95 respirator masks, safety goggles, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) have created a desperate need among health care workers as the pandemic escalates. Archivists and conservators from university libraries across the country have been pitching in to help bridge the supply gap, donating their supplies of PPE. Through networking with local health care providers, libraries are getting lifesaving supplies where they’re needed most. Eric Alstrom, head of conservation and preservation at Michigan State University Libraries, says that he first heard about libraries making donations on an ALA listserv for preservation administrators.”...

AL: The Scoop, Mar. 27

Pandemic preparedness for school libraries

Updating librarian job responsibilities from the traditional to remote practice

Leanne Ellis writes: “The best response of a capable educator is to focus on student learning no matter what. While some educators lament the influx of emails, technology directives, and response time to take students online, others take on the challenge of learning the best practices and tools for teaching students in a virtual environment. None of this work is easy. Switching instruction from in-person to Google Classroom, for example, involves thought and preparation: how to manage student accounts and work, design lessons, post content, communicate, guide discussions and responses, give useful feedback, and grade work. And that’s just for one class. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.”...

Knowledge Quest blog, Mar. 27

Work from home: Part-timers and student workers

University of Toledo LibGuide on COVID-19. Student workers can check links and update COVID-19 LibGuides

Alex Harrington writes: “Most academic library employees across the country have been working from home for the better part of two weeks now. What about our part-timers and student workers? In my library, I have two dozen part-time employees whose assigned job is exclusively working at the service desk when the rest of the staff has gone home for the evening or weekend. This is not work that can be done from home, or when the physical space of the library is not in use—checking items in or out, providing basic computer assistance to users, and counting the cash drawer. So what can they do?”...

ACRLog, Mar. 27; Jan. 21, 2019
ALA news

COVID-19 and libraries across the globe

MakeMake, a digital learning platform for children and teens created by Catalina Holguín at the University of Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions is aggregating key resources on how libraries around the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. The list, to be updated regularly, offers information on library closures, managing restrictions, staying safe, providing services remotely, communicating with users in different languages, and other ongoing issues. IFLA welcomes additional ideas, references, suggestions, and corrections submitted to

IFLA, Mar. 27

Some positive COVID-19 news from around the world

Boy with mask reading. Photo by Mehedi Hasan / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Richard Trenholm writes: “Right now the coronavirus pandemic and COVID-19 are all anyone can talk about, and you’re not alone if you feel overwhelmed or find yourself focusing on worst-case scenarios. So let’s take a second, breathe deep, and look at some of the positive things going on in these strange times. Remember, there are many reasons not to sink into worry or fear. We’ll keep updating this page with encouraging, reassuring, and uplifting news about medical progress, government support, and people uniting to help each other.”...

CNET, Mar. 25

EBSCO creates coronavirus research site


EBSCO has worked with its content partners to help expand access to resources during the length of this crisis and has opened up some of its own content during the pandemic as well. These resources are designed to help librarians and library staff support distance learning and remote work and manage stress; they include expanded access offers, open resources, and a webinar series. Librarians can use the new EBSCO COVID-19 Resources site to view the offerings and sign up for webinars. Cochrane Library healthcare database offers two evidence-based special collections on COVID-19: infection control and prevention, and evidence relevant to critical care. Developed in conjunction with the Cochrane community and based on World Health Organization interim guidance, these special collections assemble Cochrane Reviews in key topic areas relating to the prevention and treatment of COVID-19....

EBSCO post, Mar. 26; Cochrane Library
Latest Library Links

An older generation faces a digital divide

Senior on cellphone

Kate Conger and Erin Griffith write: “As life has increasingly moved online during the pandemic, an older generation that grew up in an analog era is facing a digital divide. Often unfamiliar or uncomfortable with apps, gadgets, and the internet, many are struggling to keep up with friends and family through digital tools when some of them are craving those connections the most. According to a 2017 Pew Research study, three-quarters of those older than 65 said they needed someone else to set up their electronic devices. A third also said they were only a little or not at all confident in their ability to use electronics and to navigate the web. Families are finding new apps and gadgets that are easy for older relatives to use.” New York City’s SU-CASA is the largest publicly funded arts engagement program for older adults in the US, bringing teaching artists to more than 200 senior centers. The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging conducted an evaluation of the SU-CASA program and developed recommendations on how to make the program more effective....

New York Times, Mar. 27; Pew Research Center, May 17, 2017; NYC Creative Aging Initiative

How to teach and learn philosophy while quarantining

Scene from the philosophy-oriented TV show, The Good Place

Colin Marshall writes: “The term ‘philosophy,’ as every introductory course first explains, means the love of wisdom. And as the oldest intellectual discipline, philosophy has proven that the love of wisdom can withstand the worst that human history can throw at it. The current coronavirus pandemic, the most frightening global event most of us have seen in our lifetimes, doesn’t quite look like a civilization-ender, though it has forced many of us to change the way we live and learn. In short, we’re doing much more of it online, and a new collection of educational videos free online is keeping philosophy in the mix.”...

Open Culture, Mar. 26
Dewey Decibel podcast

Special publisher offers and discounts

Special offer

Publishers Weekly is maintaining a list of special offers and discounts provided in an effort to mitigate the impact of the new coronavirus on the book publishing industry and on related communities. The list is updated frequently....

Publishers Weekly

25 best board-game mobile apps to play

Through the Ages (Czech Games)

Keith Law writes: “Our current golden age of tabletop gaming has also led to a similar surge in mobile apps that adapt board games to tablets and phones, with new ones arriving almost every week and some games even premiering in digital form at the same time they show up on store shelves. I’ve tried more than 50 such apps, all of which are based on games you can actually buy in stores; these are 25 of the best. Unless otherwise noted, these are all available on iOS and Android, with some on Steam as well.”...

Vulture, Mar. 25

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