Libraries and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed new challenges for libraries of all kinds. This page has some resources and information to help guide libraries in adapting to an evolving situation.

  • Learn: Read Aloud Canadian Books Program – The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and Access Copyright
    The Read Aloud Canadian Books Program will allow, on a temporary basis, a waiver of licence fees related to the reading of all or part of select in-print books from participating publishers and authors, and the posting of the video recording online.
  • Fair Dealing Guidance for Canadian Libraries During the Time of COVID-19 – Canadian Federation of Library Associations
    The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) has issued a guidance document to support libraries in considering copyright as they provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read alouds and Resources for Readers

  • Learn: Online Reading Resources list (April 2, 2020). A list of online book and educational resources available for free. Created by OLA member Lynn Goodwin.
  • Watch: Bibliovideo: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)
    A YouTube channel dedicated to Canadian children’s books called Bibliovideo. Bibliovideo features videos and links to resources in French and English about Canadian books for children and youth.

Other Activities for Students and Libraries

  • Listen: Sound and Music Resources
  • Listen: I Value Canadian Stories Podcast from VoicEd Radio Featuring Canadian authors in discussion with retired educator Stephen Hurley and other Canadian teachers talking about what sparks their imagination and tips for students exploring their writing abilities
  • Listen: First Chapter Fridays Podcast from VoicEd Radio Educator Tanya Polasek reads the first chapter of a Canadian Young Adult book each Friday to engage her students in and outside her classroom.
  • Watch: CFE Virtual Forum Series – Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression
    A weekly, free webinar series on civil liberties, free expression, smart cities and more. Archived sessions will be available.
  • Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support Portal  – Government of Canada
    Wellness Together Canada provides tools and resources to help get Canadians back on track. These include modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues.
  • COVID-19: Mental Health
    A list of resources to help manage your mental health and to respond to anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Manage Anxiety & StressCenter for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Resources and advice on managing anxiety and stress related to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Talking to Children about COVID-19Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Guidance for parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults to help children make sense of what they hear about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
  • COVID-19 Mental Health Resources for Kids and TeensKids Help Phone
    Mental health resources for kids and teens
  • Mental Health TipsMIND UK
    Multilingual, downloadable mental health tips for managing anxiety and stress related to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Ontario Public Library Response to COVID-19 (2020)
This survey report summarizes Ontario Public Libraries’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.

Ontario School Library Responses to COVID-19 (2020)

This slide deck summarizes the findings from OSLA’s Ontario School Library Response to COVID-19 Survey in spring 2020.

Examples of Public Libraries responding to COVID-19:

Learn About COVID-19

Shareable Resources

  • COVID-19 Public ResourcesPublic Health Ontario
    A collection of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) fact sheets on self-isolation and self monitoring
  • Clean Hands and Covering CoughsThunder Bay District Health Unit
    This website contains multilingual posters on keeping hands clean (hand hygiene) and covering coughs and sneezes (respiratory etiquette) to prevent the spread of infections
  • Hand HygieneCity of Toronto
    This website has multiple resources on hand hygiene that includes posters on hand washing, hand sanitizer use, and coughing. These posters are available in multiple languages and can be downloaded or printed for use by patrons and staff.

Updated November 30, 2020