Giving Compass' Take:

• Libraries are closing due to coronavirus but still offer virtual services and programs to their communities. However, as revenue goes down, job losses increase.

• What specific support do libraries need during this time? 

• Find out about opportunities on how to give back during COVID-19. 

Most libraries (98%) have closed their buildings to the public, but staff have quickly adapted their services by creating new virtual programs, expanding digital services and working with local government agencies, according to a recent survey by the Public Library Association (PLA). Over 70% of respondents are using social media to share COVID-19 information, and more than 60% are using social media to promote census participation.

In spite of closing their doors, libraries continue to serve their communities in significant ways, PLA President Ramiro Salazar​ told Smart Cities Dive. ​​In San Antonio, for example, some library employees have been assigned to help the city's Housing Department in facilitating requests for housing assistance as more people have fewer resources to pay their rent or mortgage, he said.

The Rochester Public Library in Minnesota has worked with city partners to open a day shelter at the local city-owned civic center for people experiencing homelessness. And other members of the library administrative team are being used to help with operational plans for city services like county call lines that are now being "routed to library staff for initial intake and referral."

Other programming like story time and knitting groups have gone virtual for libraries like the McArthur Library in Biddeford, ME. Libraries have also expanded their virtual library cards.

Despite the good work that many libraries are doing, the coronavirus is hurting library budgets as city revenues fall. And some libraries have already reported job losses and budgetary concerns, according to the survey.

Read the full article about libraries face more demand by Cailin Crowe at Smart Cities Dive.