Libraries in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rising to the Challenge

Libraries in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Rising to the Challenge

Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 37
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6449-3.ch007
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The South China Morning Post reported China's first confirmed COVID-19 case may be traced as early as November 17, 2019. On December 8, 2019, Wuhan, China had its first patient with symptoms similar to coronavirus. The disease was believed to have emerged in the Huanan seafood market. By December 15, the total number of infections stood at 27—the first double-digit daily rise was reported on December 17—and by December 20, the total number of confirmed cases had reached 60. December 31, 2019, China informs the World Health Organization (WHO) about a cluster of cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The virus is still not understood. March 11, 2020, the WHO assesses that COVID-19 can be officially described as a pandemic due to the rapid increase in the number of cases outside China. As coronavirus cases began to skyrocket, libraries had to function in unique situations. The purpose of this chapter is to provide an in-depth review of libraries and case studies amid the COVID 19 pandemic.
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December 31, 2019, the Health Commission of Hubei province, of China, first announced a cluster of unexplained cases of pneumonia and reported it to the World Health Organization (WHO) (Chan J et al., 2020).

The World Health Organization (WHO) subsequently named the disease Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Most cases from the initial cluster had an epidemiological link to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Patients experience clinical manifestations, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle ache, confusion, headache, sore throat, rhinorrhea, chest pain, diarrhea, and nausea and vomiting (Hui, al., 2020). Several patients were reported to have radiographic ground-glass lung changes; normal or lower than average white blood cell lymphocyte, and platelet counts; hypoxemia; and deranged liver and renal function. The significant increases in the number of confirmed cases in China and abroad led to the announcement made by WHO on January 20, 2020, that the event has already constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of January 30, 2020, a total of 9976 cases had been reported in at least 21 countries (John Hopkins 2020).

February 2020, a cumulative total of 72,436 confirmed cases (including 11,741 currently severe cases), 6242 currently suspect cases, a cumulative total of 1868 deaths, and 12,552 cases discharged from the hospital were reported by the National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China (NHC) in mainland China Most were said to be geographically linked to the Huanan seafood wholesale market, which was subsequently reported by journalists to be selling freshly slaughtered game animals.

As Covid-19 handicaps the U.S. and ravages many countries in the world, politicians are battling back and forth of who is to blame for its damage. What has been established is that the virus started in China, but how it went from epidemic to global pandemic is the key mystery.

The outbreak that began in Wuhan China the ninth most populous city subsequently infected major countries like South Korea, Italy, Russia, Germany, India, and the U.S.

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 reached more than 19 million globally, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine. The number of confirmed coronavirus death is more than 800,000.

With the spread of coronavirus, travel was put to a halt. Countries were on lockdown.

Hilton Worldwide Holdings says it does not expect demand to return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2022.

Conferences were canceled, schools closed and Libraries around the world faced were faced with unique situations and difficult decisions on which services to offer and how ranging from minimal restrictions to full closure.

Depending on the country, the state, or city, a government may have a different approach, sometimes ordering the closure of all institutions, others indicating that its business as usual, and others simply leaving decisions up to library directors.

Discussion of the role of libraries in providing reliable information during times of crisis and pandemic has existed for many decades (Ahmed et al. 2019; Featherstone et al. 2012; Frias 1995; Zach 2011).

Public library systems and school libraries in 188 countries closed due to the closure of all educational institutions. University libraries have also closed. The National Libraries have closed in over 100 countries. Throughout these closures, libraries continue to provide services to their communities during the most challenging times.

The purposes of this chapter are twofold: First, the chapter examines the coronavirus, Second the chapter provides an in-depth view of libraries during the COVID 19 pandemic crisis.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Phylogroup: Genetics.

SEIR: Susceptible, exposed, infectious, and removed.

Coronavirid: A family of enveloped, positive-strand RNA viruses which infect amphibians, birds, and mammals.

Arhinorrhoea: Discharge of thin nasal mucus fluid.

Sustainable Development: A development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Hypoxemia: Low concentration of oxygen in the blood.

Abrefile: Having a fever.

EBIDA: European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations.

Febrile: Have no fever.

Homology: The state of having the same or similar relation, relative position, or structure.

AVMA: American Veterinary Association.

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