State Library to Close to Help Prevent Community Spread of COVID-19
We are closely monitoring information and recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, and the Ohio Department of Health. In support of the directive by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine that each State department consider allowing employees to work remotely if possible, the State Library will be closed to the public for at least three weeks beginning Tuesday, March 17th. During this time, State Library staff are being directed to telework from home. Some staff will be assigned on a rotating schedule to report to the State Library facility to take care of in-office required tasks.
While the State Library will be closed to the public, all online resources including the Ohio Digital Library will remain available. During this time, loan periods will be extended for physical items currently checked-out and we ask that patrons refrain from returning these items to the library. The option for requesting items for new check-outs will be deactivated.
The health and safety of our patrons and staff was paramount in the decision of State Librarian Beverly Cain to close the library. As of today, 3/13/2020 at 2 p.m.—Ohio has 13 confirmed cases, 159 persons with test results pending, and 333 under health supervision. On March 6th, Governor DeWine signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Ohio to protect Ohioans from the dangerous effects of COVID-19. This allows State departments and agencies to better coordinate their response, free up resources to protect Ohioans, and quickly purchase additional needed resources and supplies. President Trump has declared a national emergency. According to the CDC, “The virus that causes COVID-19 is infecting people and spreading easily from person-to-person. Cases have been detected in most countries worldwide and community spread is being detected in a growing number of countries. On March 11, the COVID-19 outbreak was characterized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The plan to reopen the library on April 6th will be evaluated by the end of March.