Letter from the Director: COVID-19

Updated at 2:50 p.m. on March 13, 2020 

After 6 p.m., March 13 all 41 Library locations, opens a new window will be closed to the public.

With 41 public facilities that together average more than 15,000 visits daily, we are in communication with and paying close attention to local and national public health officials as they coordinate COVID-19 (coronavirus) responses, and following their directions so we can be prepared now and respond quickly as the situation develops.  

Currently, all of our 41 community libraries are open and operating on normal schedules. 

The outbreak of COVID-19 raises many concerns for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, as our shared public spaces see thousands of people every day, and the health and safety of staff and library users is our priority. Customers borrow more than 1.7 million items and attend more than 1,400 programs every month. That translates into a lot of personal interactions by many, many people every day. For the health and safety of others, please be thoughtful about coming into a Library location if you are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms (see symptoms here, opens a new window). Please do your part to prevent the spread of germs and disease to keep your neighbors safe. 

At the same time, Libraries are also “second responders,” acting as resiliency centers during emergencies and filling gaps in services and resources, all while serving as a trusted source for factual information. 

All of these interactions put the public, and our staff, in close contact all day long. For this reason, Library administration is keeping a close eye on recent developments regarding coronavirus. We are in communication with local government and public health officials to explore what we as an organization need to do so we can continue serving the public while doing our part to keep everyone healthy and safe.  

Taking a Proactive Approach  

As of the afternoon of March 9, there were three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ohio. If cases begin to emerge in our immediate Hamilton County region, we will be following the lead of the county and city. We are currently addressing concerns over coronavirus in our public spaces by: 

  • Implementing elevated cleaning and sanitizing measures in all buildings 
  • Making hand gel sanitizers available for Library users 
  • Providing reminders for staff and customers about proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette  
  • Continuing to encourage staff to stay home if they are ill or have a fever 

Additionally, the Library’s Senior Leadership Team has developed a plan that will allow us to be prepared for multiple scenarios and act responsibly and maintain some level of Library service, should national or local public health officials recommend further precautionary measures.  

If you prefer not to visit a Library location in person, you can contact Library staff via telephone: 513-369-6900, Email, opens a new window, Text: 513-449-2275 or Chat. 

Also, the Library has a vast collection of digital materials, which you can access from anywhere you can get online. These e-resources include eBooks, opens a new windoweMagazines, opens a new windowdownloadable audiobooks, opens a new windowstreaming TV and movies, opens a new windowmusic, opens a new windowdatabases, opens a new window and much more. All are available for free with your Library card. 

The safety of our customers and staff is very important to us, and we will continue to monitor the situation and respond accordingly. As a trusted source for timely and accurate information, we will continue to compile, update, and share resources with the community so that together we can keep our neighborhoods as safe and healthy as possible.  

For more Library service updates and resources regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) please click here, opens a new window.