The 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which was first identified in China in December 2019, is a new strain that has not been previously seen in humans. Available data suggest over 2,800 fatalities in 10 countries and 83,000 infections across 56 countries worldwide as at February 28, 2020.
As librarians, we owe it as a duty to make accessible all relevant information about this disease in all shapes and forms for the benefit and protection of our users and communities, without causing undue panic. Here are links to some useful resources (fact sheets, articles, infographics etc.) that you can disseminate by sharing or projecting on screens or printing and pasting at vantage points at your library to educate your staff and user communities.
Further, Libraries and Librarians can show exemplary preventative measures by:
1. Providing hand-washing facilities and alcohol-based sanitizers at entrance to the Library.
2. Organizing demonstrations of how to properly wash hands from elbows down to the fingers, in-between fingers and under the nails.
3. Providing disposable nose masks, where possible, to all Library users or to those that cough, sneeze or have running nose in the reading rooms/halls while making sure to enforce a social distancing policy of at least 1 metre (3 feet).
4. In extreme cases, Libraries may be closed down to the public and innovative online services rolled out for users to continue having access to Library services, remotely.