TLA Recommends Closure of Texas Libraries
We commend the libraries, schools, colleges and universities, and local officials and administrators who have made the very hard decision to close their doors to the public.
The Texas Library Association (TLA), as the advocate for Texas libraries, recommends that libraries in Texas suspend public operations based on national guidelines issued by President Trump, and ensure that staff are fairly compensated during this ongoing crisis.
It is essential that everyone take appropriate steps to ‘flatten the curve’ regarding the spread of COVID-19 to protect the health and safety of our communities.
The volume of visitors into a library on any given day, especially in light of the closure of many other community spaces, makes it exceptionally difficult to safeguard public and employee health, and to curtail community transmission.
Cases of COVID-19 spread by community interaction have been identified in Texas, and according to Governor Greg Abbott, the number of Texans testing positive for COVID-19 is expected to increase exponentially as thousands of tests become available over the next couple of weeks.
In declaring a national emergency, President Trump issued guidelines which instruct people to avoid social gatherings of groups larger than 10, utilize drive-thrus, pick up or delivery options rather than dining out; avoid discretionary travel, shopping and social visits; and do not visit nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities.
Additionally, the guidelines direct governors of states where there is evidence of community transmission to close schools in affected and surrounding areas, and close bars, restaurants, gyms and other indoor/outdoor venues. Many communities in Texas have taken these steps.
This is a challenging time for us, the nation and the world as we respond to COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding the crisis. TLA will work diligently to stay on top of this quickly evolving and fluid situation, and to communicate with you regularly and fully as conditions change.
We are entering unprecedented and uncertain times. The health and safety of our members and our communities is our top priority. We must all work together to protect the most vulnerable among us, and to slow the spread of COVID-19.