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COVID-19: Resources

Information about Connecticut library responses to the coronavirus, as well as links to other COVID-19 sites for libraries and Connecticut.

Public Libraries and Public Health

Public Health Related Issues Pertaining to Public Libraries:

The governance and organizational structure of public libraries in CT impacts how libraries should seek guidance. Public libraries should defer to local authorities on issues of public health emergencies. Libraries can also seek authoritative guidance from CT Department of Public Health, UCONN Health and ultimately the CDC.

Please send us your good news! How many new library cards have you issued this week? How did your first online storytime go? (Email maria.bernier@ct.gov)

5/11 from Hotchkiss Library of Sharon: Each year our Friends of the Library host a Reading Jubilee. All day long a rotating cast of readers share outloud from their favorite texts, as patrons come in and out of the building. This year we could not gather in person, so I asked townspeople to share videos of their readings. We had a great response and compiled a 38-minute long film that celebrates books, reading, libraries and community! Take a look: Hotchkiss Library Reading Jubilee 2020

4/29 from Russell Library, Middletown: Our Job and Career Group is now online! One on One Resume Reviews, LinkedIn Review Appointments, and Practice Skype Interviews are now being scheduled. Interested participants need to send their resume to either Christy Billings: cbillings@russelllibrary.org or Bob Carlson: rcarlson.org.

In this time of quarantine and social distancing, what about hair? Emily Curtis from BLee Company in Middletown shares great tips for men and women about how you can look your best for Zoom meetings or video interviews, despite being unable to get cut and styled. Check out our YouTube: Video Interview Style: Ways to Present Your Best Self During the Pandemic.

Two Workshops in June...Sarah Barr and Diane Lang, Virtual Party to try out Zoom, and more! Sign-up for our newsletter at https://russelllibrary.org/other-services/

4/24 from the UConn Library: The library has a new multidisciplinary resource guide on COVID-19 as well as a Googledoc that contains the same information, based on the assumption that some users may prefer one format over the other. Both the LibGuide and Googledoc are open to the general public. We are continuing to update these guides as more research becomes available.

4/23 from Mystic & Noank Library: Recognizing the impact this crisis is having on people's mental health, we've partnered with a licensed clinical social worker in our community to offer a weekly virtual support group. The program is a space for people to share what they're going through, peppered in with stress management strategies from a licensed professional's standpoint! 

We had our first meeting Tuesday evening and had a really strong response from those who attended. Lots of gratitude and thank yous. On the library side of things, I also linked them to a doc folder with some resource guides--a starting place anyway. To ensure meeting security, registration required to attend and we are not sharing links or codes anywhere. 

On a personal note, it's just refreshing to see people again & talk candidly about what's going on.

4/23 from Windsor Locks Public Library: Library staff has been busy providing content for our Facebook and Instagram accounts.  Parents and children are invited to join Miss Jane and friends for online stories and crafting on Facebook and the kids page. We also have lots of virtual tours, online games and puzzles, trivia questions, local history, pet pictures, updates on library services, and more fun things on our Facebook page.  Please comment and let us know what you think! If you spend any time in the kid's room you'll recognize Bob, our friendly stuffed gorilla, who has been spotted making use of the library and gallivanting around town hoping to run into some of his friends. Some of his adventures are recorded on the library's Instagram page.

4/22 from Henry Carter Hull Library, Clinton: I just put up a story walk in front of our library this week. I picked Frederick, by Leo Lionni. Although the book takes place in winter, I thought it is perfect for National Poetry Month and for those of us who are going stir crazy during social distancing. We are encouraging patrons to visit, while practicing social distancing. Our StoryWalk is very primitive, just laminated book pages attached to wooden stakes. This is our 4th one and our patrons love them. 

4/21 from Scoville Memorial Library, Salisbury: I hosted our first Zoom book discussion this weekend and it was a great success. Everyone was unmuted with eight participants, and one attendee commented on feeling awkward in other Zoom meetings but this one was really good. So, I encourage you to try it.

4/20 from Bentley Memorial Library, Bolton: The library has been doing Telephone Storytime. Patrons can call or email the library to register. Pick a time between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and a staff member will read a favorite book to your child over the phone. 

4/20 from Otis Library: Last week our very talented Miss B. incorporated a short nature walk in her storytime. She read The Very Quite Cricket, played guitar & sang, and ended with a nature walk that included a babbling brook, a worm crawling through the dirt, a bee buzzing around a hyacinth and various other insects. You can check it out on our last Thursday's (April 16), 10:39 a.m.Facebook post. [link to video]

4/17 from Stratford Library: The library put together an online Healing Library kit to help families cope with the coronavirus. It is available on the Stratford Library website. Please feel free to share it with your patrons to provide some help during this stressful time.

4/15 from Gunn Memorial Library in Washington: The library is planning a Virtual Author Talk with Janice Kaplan on her most recent book, The Genius of Women, for Friday, May 1. Families are encouraged to break out of the “isolation doldrums” and take part in the Family Spring Challenge - complete as many challenges as you wish and send in a video, picture, or document. Each completed challenge earns one entry to win a prize! Individuals or families are welcome to participate. 

In order to replicate the unique experience of person-to-person exchange at the Circulation Desk, the library is offering weekly themed "Virtual Chats" with staff via Zoom. It may be only a moment to discuss the book you just finished, the latest movie or even the weather, but this is an experience we’ve missed during social isolation.
Wednesday, April 22 @ 1 pm: Share Your View – What’s happening outside your window? Where are you sitting most often at home? What have you observed that you might not have during a normal busy day?
Wednesday, April 29 @ 1 pm: What movies are you watching or re-watching? What television shows have you decided to binge view? How do you access this entertainment?
Wednesday, May 6 @ 1 pm: Books – Of course, we can’t ignore the fact that there is more time to read these days. What are you reading? What do you want to read? What would you recommend to others?
Wednesday, May 13 @ 1 pm: Food for Thought! – The kitchen has become our comfort zone. Share your experiences, good and bad, with this new, yet necessary, connection with the way we shop, cook and eat.
Wednesday, May 20 @ 1 pm: Name That Tune – What music have you been listening to? Going back to old favorites, trying new artists, or relying on standbys? This could be a chance to turn you on to something new.

4/14 from Bloomfield Public Library: The library has been offering a very popular curbside service since we closed our doors to the public in mid-March. Our patrons are so thankful for curbside pickup and the associated reader advisory. We even offer children’s take-home bagged crafts and STEM activities via curbside. One of our librarians is calling elderly patrons to chat and offer her company during these isolating times. Library staff members have begun offering online programs via ZOOM, Facebook, and Instagram. We started a subscription to the NYTimes.com to provide up-to-date, accurate news for our patrons, and have been heavily promoting our 3rd location – all things digital at bplct.org. We have created a special page on our website, Read. Explore. Learn., for hand-picked resources from our youth librarians.

4/7 from Bridgeport Public Library: Two children's librarians from the main library recorded four short (20 min or so) videos of stories, music and rhymes which they post on Facebook each Saturday at the time they usually have a storyhour. They are terrific! The children's librarian at the North Branch has recorded several read-alouds and stories which she posted to Facebook as well. She has also started a Zoom Storyhour on Fridays for about 30 minutes. The first one went well.

4/7 from Brookfield Library: We started the "Brookfield Library Bear Hunt" on Facebook last week. We have over 225 members so far! Residents are asked to put a bear outside, or to post a photo of their favorite bear story, or a photo of their kids or grandkids reading to a bear. It's been lots of fun! There's an article that was in the Brookfield Patch about it. 

4/7 from Goshen Public Library: At first I was using the Town of Goshen's account but was limited to times when they didn't have meetings scheduled. So I asked the Friends of the Library to purchase access and they said as long as we can cancel at anytime (as in don't sign up for a year, though who knows how long we will need it!) We did purchase the minimum hosts, $15 a month.

We have used it for our Great Decisions group - watching a DVD then discussing topics from the Foreign Policy Association. The Writers' Group has met twice.  Next week we will be running a book discussion. I reached out to one of the members - they don't meet at the library, it is a private group but almost all the members get the books from us. I will be the technician but do no actual part of the discussion. It will be their group. I have no problem with this and one of the members reached out so enthusiastically that I know I made the right decision in reaching out.

4/6 from James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford: We are also doing a stuck at home challenge that can be found on our social media pages...facebook/IG at Blackstone Library.

4/6 from Ledyard Libraries: We will be running the American Presidents book discussion with different titles on the same theme as not everyone was in attendance at the last in-person discussion, nor did people check out print material in time. We have found that this to be a great opportunity to share what (themed) titles are in our digital downloads collections.

4/6 from Scranton Library in Madison: Our adult programming librarian, Rachel, did a virtual "book chat" on Thursday evening with about 6 people in attendance. Everyone talked about what books they gravitate to in stressful times and what they're currently reading. It was a lot of fun. We used Zoom and took a few precautions to protect our patrons from Zoom-bombing:
1) made sure not to use our personal Zoom ID as the meeting ID
2) made the meeting password protected
3) used the waiting room feature so only registered participants were admitted

We advertised on our website, through our Constant Contact e-mail list, and on social media. We asked people to e-mail our generic library e-mail address to "register" and then sent the Zoom invite info to them personally, so it was never made public. It's easy enough to use that most people just click the link and are in the waiting room pretty seamlessly.

Our genius adult programmer is also planning a film discussion later this month. Since Kanopy allows concurrent movie "borrowing" she'll be able to pick one movie for people to watch and discuss via Zoom.

4/2 from Weston Public Library: Our 3D printers are small, and we were hoping to find a way to use them to support local efforts. Mr. Petit [at UConn Health, recommended by Wallingford Library] is very responsive and we now have production in place for the face mask frames he requested. Each one only takes about 30 minutes to print. For other libraries that might only have small printers that cannot do the face shields, this is a good way to contribute. 

4/2 from Gunn Memorial Library in Washington: We are promoting digital resources, sharing virtual opportunities, providing preschool storytimes twice a day, Monday through Friday via Zoom, and developing virtual programs for adults. 

4/2 from Avon Free Public Library: Avon is 3D printing face shields for our local first responders, based on the information coordinated by MakerspaceCT. If there are any other libraries who are able to make use of your 3D printers right now, this is the critical time to print supplies and get them to first responders. Bill Hoover from Makerspace CT has been very helpful in answering my questions. You can reach him at agdtensor115@gmail.com or 860.633.5342. [Can also contact Jessica Noble at jnoble@avonctlibrary.info for files and details.] Here is the information Bill sent us:  

"Our MakerSpace might be closed, but we are much alive. I am co-coordinating Medical Face Shield builds for our Medical community.They fit over the head with a transparent plastic shield to protect the N-95 or other mask underneath. I'm sending you a .stl file of a mask face holder. You can print some with. PETG,PLA and ABS 3D printer filaments. There are three .stl files for the same frame band. All are the same, but each Filament type is labeled on the band for identification of plastic type. PLA being the most porous with PETG easier to sterilize. This may be important to Medical personnel. Files attached. Print these and add acetate sheets (overhead projector sheets) available from Staples for the face plate. Four easy holes to punch and and add rubber band strap to back, then distribute to your local EMS personnel. Or contact me, we assemble as distribute the bands as needed from our MakerSpaceCT."

4/1 from Danbury Library: I'm excited (and nervous) to share that tonight I'll be hosting our library's first trivia livestream on our Facebook page! For over a year now, we've hosted a monthly trivia night at Danbury's Charter Oak Brewing Company. It's always really well attended and super fun. Instead of canceling altogether due to COVID, I decided to give it a shot online. We've had a pretty good response on the Facebook event we created, so hopefully we get a lot of people tuning in and participating. So, please tune in! 

4/1 from Hall Memorial Library in Ellington: In-person notary services continue, outside the library on the picnic table, with us at opposite ends of the table.

4/1 from Henry Carter Hull Library in Clinton: We're promoting a local food drive with our friends and partners at Families Helping Families Clinton CT and Clinton CT Police Department. People can help by dropping off non-perishable food items for the Clinton Food Pantry or by making a monetary donation online. Henry Carter Hull Library has partnered with both groups to provide essential programming and we appreciate their services to the community! 

4/1 from East Granby Public Library: We started our Zoom storytime this week and we are really excited about it. We have two sessions, Tuesdays at 10:30 “Babies and Books” for our 1 and 2 year olds. And on Thursdays at 10:30 we have our preschool storytime for ages 3, 4 and 5.

3/31 from Essex Library: We donated library supplies on hand (gloves, hand sanitzer, wipes, tissues) to the Essex Ambulance Association. Also, our Diamonds & Purls knitting group held a session on how to sew masks at home. We also offer remote card issuance.

3/31 from CLC: Some of the silver linings that have come from this situation as folks have shared them in our meetings:

  • More time with family
  • More time for professional development
  • Saving time on commutes
  • Being able to tackle projects not normally able to get to
  • Oil prices are down
  • Learning, loving, and reveling in a greater sense of appreciation for what we do have

3/31: Connecticut libraries (Killingworth, Woodbury, Deep River) are participating in the nationwide Teddy Bear Scavenger Hunt, as seen on NBC Nightly News

3/31 from Wallingford Library:  We arranged to get our supply of filament for 3D printing to UCONN Health Center for use in this project:   
UConn Health is actively pursuing donations of medical supplies such as procedure masks, surgical masks, N95 rated facemasks, face shields, goggles, disinfectant wipes, and Ethyl or Isopropyl Alcohol >70%. Anyone wishing to donate supplies can reach us by emailing COVID19donations@uchc.edu. UConn Health is also looking to area hobbyists who have 3D printers capable of using 1.75mm PLA media. We need help printing mask adapters for use by hospital staff working with infected patients. If you have this capability and wish to donate finished product from your machine please contact Keith Petit at petit@uchc.edu for more information. Due to the high volume of inquiries, response times may be slow but every email will be answered. Thank you for your contribution. You are helping our medical providers stay safe so they can keep giving the best health care possible to those impacted by this pandemic.  

3/30 from Canterbury Library: I finally had time to start a cocktail and book pairing video series I've had in the back of my mind. They're fun and silly which makes them perfect for the weirdness right now. 

3/30 from the Farmington Libraries:

  • Stuck at Home Challenge: all ages are invited to participate in the Stuck at Home Challenge. Choose from 13 different activities or do them all! Connect with your community by sharing progress through social media, and earn a chance to win one of three prize baskets.
  • Storytime at Home: Rhymes, finger plays, activities, early literacy tips, and crafts all around a theme, sent through email every Monday morning to all who sign up. Screen-free activities for young children to continue the early literacy and fine motor skills activities they practice at storytime.

3/27 from East Hampton Public Library: We did several Zoom programs this week with more on the way next week. Our Wednesday morning story time was a big hit. We had 15 families with only one day notice on Facebook. We’re doing it again next week and I’m guessing it will grow. Our ‘Quarantine Book Club’ on Thursday evening, however, only had three participants. Not the thousands I imagined but everyone had a good time. Everyone in our community has been so wonderfully appreciative, supportive and understanding. ...Our Facebook posts advertising these zoom programs have been going wild (by our standards, at least) so I console myself that even if there aren’t a ton of people attending, thousands of people are seeing our posts and know that we’re being active during this difficult time. I’m very glad we made the time investment in learning Zoom. We’re planning on one online program per weekday until we re-open.

3/27 from Preston Public Library: Our good news is that we're offering patrons needing cards temporary digital cards. We are also updating our collection through a large weeding project. And our social media presence is growing.

3/27 from Beardsley Library, Winsted: I've been amazed at the numbers I'm seeing in terms of engagement through social media, etc. We had over 200 new people follow us on Facebook in the last two weeks, and I personally made 25 new library cards/accounts in the last 24 hours. There are some positive things coming of this! People turn to their libraries in times of need.

Are you working from home? How is it going? What trainings/advice/accomplishments would you like to share with others? (Email maria.bernier@ct.gov)

DLD Webinars

Governor's Re-opening Rules for Public Libraries

The Division of Library Development offered three information sessions about the Phase 2 Sector rules with Maureen Sullivan, Interim State Librarian, and Dawn La Valle, Director, Division of Library Development.

Follow-Up: Governor's Re-opening Rules for Public Libraries

REALM Project Information Session for CT Libraries

COVID 19 Pandemic and Connecticut Libraries Resources & Panel Discussion Recording

REALM Webinars

See the full list of recordings of webinars provided by REALM Project staff on their website.

March Webinars

April Webinars

May Webinars

June Webinars

Libraries

Connecticut

Other Resources

How long does it last on surfaces? How do I clean?

FAQ from the REALM Project

All REALM Project results from eight separate test groups, including tests of typical library materials, storage materials, and materials found in furnishings and equipment. The page also has links to literature reviews of new research on SARS-CoV-2 published through mid-August 2020 on how the virus spreads, the lifespan of of the virus on materials, and effectiveness of various prevention and decontamination measures.

Watch the January 29 webinar recording from REALM with a Project Update and Community Reflections.

Watch the October 16 webinar recording from REALM specifically for Connecticut libraries. Access Passcode: 3w1$6c+b​

Watch the October 8 webinar recording from REALM on Collections and Facilities: Caring for Your Resources During COVID-19.

Watch the August 4 webinar recording on REALM project updates.

From a study in the Lancet: "No infectious virus could be recovered from printing and tissue papers after a 3-hour incubation, whereas no infectious virus could be detected from treated wood and cloth on day 2. By contrast, SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on smooth surfaces. No infectious virus could be detected from treated smooth surfaces on day 4 (glass and banknote) or day 7 (stainless steel and plastic)."

The New England Journal of Medicine published research on how long the Covid-19 virus lasts in the air and on different surfaces:

  • On plastic: Undetectable after 72 hours.
  • On stainless steel: Undetectable after 48 hours. 
  • On cardboard: Undetectable by 24 hours. 
  • On copper: Undetectable by 8 hours.

For more information, please refer to authoritative sources at the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html

State Data Coordinator

Maria Bernier's picture
Maria Bernier
Contact:
Middletown Library Service Center
786 South Main St.
Middletown, CT 06457
860-704-2204

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