Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updates

STLS Coronavirus response graphic

At STLS, we are gathering information about the nationwide spread of COVID-19, which may be helpful for our libraries and their patrons. On this page, you will find links to information from New York State, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and county health departments in the Southern Tier Region.

STLS Member Library Reopening Guidance

Link to STLS Member Library Reopening Guidance Document:

You can also scroll through the document, below:

Updates on STLS Services & Operations

EFFECTIVE AS OF MONDAY, MARCH 16th, 2020: STLS delivery services are suspended until further notice. Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, STLS is suspending all delivery beginning Monday, March 16th. This includes delivery of holds, interlibrary loan & rotating collections. We will reach out in the coming weeks with information about when this service will resume.

Updates about STLS delivery services and operations can be found here:

Additional updates on delivery, ILL, and WorkFlows:

New due date for ALL library materials across the Southern Tier Library System – July 1, 2020.

A list of member library closures can be found here:


Contact these agencies if you have questions about COVID-19:

The NY State Department of Health maintains a telephone hotline for information about coronavirus at 1-888-364-3065 and a webpage at with information, FAQs, and test results for people in NY State who have taken the COVID-19 test.

The CDC maintains the most comprehensive resources for COVID-19 at its website, CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information Site . It also maintains a list of common questions and answers at Frequently Asked Questions and Answers about Coronavirus Disease 2019

County Health Departments:

Allegany County Department of Health

Lori Ballengee, Public Health Director

7 Court Street

Belmont, NY


Chemung County Public Health Department

103 Washington St.

Elmira, NY


Schuyler County Public Health

Deborah A. Minor, RN, MPH

106 S. Perry St.

Suite 4

Watkins Glen, NY


Steuben County Public Health

3 East Pulteney Square

Bath, NY


Kim Cady, Public Health Nurse

Yates County Public Health Department

417 Liberty Street

Suite 2021

Penn Yan, NY


For library trustees:

For library directors and front-line staff:

Resource list, “Resources: Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Libraries and Other Organizations,” created by Michelle Lynn Burda, Education and Health Literacy Coordinator at the National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Middle Atlantic Region. This resource list contains clickable hyperlinks for you to use to view additional information.

Of particular interest is a free upcoming webinar, “Pandemic! NLM Resources for Librarians to Assist Researchers and the Public in Understanding the Coronavirus and Influenza,” on March 25, from 2-3 pm. If you can not view the webinar at that time, you can register and watch a recording after the live event.

The American Library Association provides a ALA Pandemic Preparedness Resource Page, for those of you interested in reviewing library policies and procedures for emergency readiness in case of widespread outbreak.

Recommended actions to minimize the person-to-person transmission of respiratory disease at your library:

• Ask patrons to refrain from returning library materials until the library reopens. Lock your book drop or place a sign over the drop asking patrons to keep items.

• If items do come back, quarantine them for one week. Then, wipe down any item that is returned to the library.

• Consider having disposable gloves available for staff to wear.

• Waive fines and extend due dates, noting the extended STLS-wide due date of May 1, 2020.

• Make available soap and hand sanitizer stations in your library.

• Let staff and volunteers know they should stay home if sick.

• Increase cleaning and wiping down of all surfaces, such as tables, desks, computers, and educational toys and games.

• Promote the library system’s digital collection. Consider promoting our online lending services including Overdrive, RB Digital, and Freegal (see links at the bottom of this page).

Other resources for member libraries:

Centers for Disease Control Handwashing Resources – printable fact sheets, social media graphics, printable posters, videos for social media

Albany Public Library Information Resources – includes protocols library is taking in regard to cleaning equipment, furniture, and resources

Seattle Public Library Response to the Coronavirus

Seattle Public Health Coronavirus and Stigma Poster

Urban Libraries Unite – COVID- 19 and Library Managers

Guidance from Committee on Open Government relative to Open Meetings Law and board responsibilities

Sample STLS member library responses:

From the Chemung County Library District – Special Notice to our Patrons in Regard to COVID-19:

From the Southeast Steuben County Library:

From the Dundee Library:


For library staff to share with patrons:

MedlinePlus Coronavirus Infections Topic Page

MedlinePlus Coronavirus Testing Info

World Health Organization (WHO) Advice for the Public

NY State Department of Health COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Comic for Kids from NPR

Taking Care of your mental health in the face of uncertainty

Coronavirus Racism and Tools for Interrupting It

Fake Facts Are Flying About Coronavirus

CDC COVID-19 Fact Sheet

CDC What to do if you are sick with COVID-19 fact sheet

Sesame Street Staying Healthy – activities, printables, videos

Coronavirus Project – Federation of American Scientists

Managing Stress and the Threat of COVID-19 – Minnesota Department of Health

Food resources:

Consider using the digital library! You can access ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and music, all from the comfort and safety of your own home!

OverDrive (ebooks and audiobooks):

RBdigital (magazines):

Freegal (music):

Have a question for a librarian? You can ask from home! –

If you have questions about the STLS response to COVID-19, please contact STLS Executive Director, Brian Hildreth, by email at, or by phone at (607) 962-3141 (ext. 207).

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