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Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Libraries and the Corunavirus

Concern appears to be rising over keeping libraries open  during the corunavirus epidemic, as shown in this Public Libraries News post (which incidentally I think has somewhat misunderstood the role envisaged by "herd immunity").

One of the problems of closure, is that much of this effort is about getting out timely and accurate public information to keep public trust.  This appears to have been undermined by recent political briefings and is a core purpose of libraries.  To close them down might leave some people unable to access information easily, which would be a major price to pay.  Of course it is sensible for any service to keep its self under review and make changes such as intensify its daily cleaning.

The Irish Prime Minister has already observed this:

I also think that there is an issue with the whole close this and close that approach that you do it as a one off, but it seems to be a bit more of a whack-a-mole situation where any country that manages to close the disease off in one place can face a resurgence coming from somewhere else, and that this is likely to remain the case until a vaccine is found.

UPDATE 19.03.20

I have a shrewd suspicion that Brent libraries will shortly announce a temporary closure to at least the end of April. 

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