Coronavirus Resources

FLA Statement on the Closing of All Libraries in Florida

FLA releases official statement urging all libraries in Florida to temporarily close to the public. FLA joins ALA and other state library associations in offering this statement to limit transmission of COVID-19. Read the full statement here.

2020 Annual Conference

After careful consideration, the FLA board of directors has RESCHEDULED the 2020 Annual Conference to October 28-30, 2020 at the same venue, DoubleTree by Hilton at Universal, Orlando, FL.

We know there is still uncertainty and guidelines are changing daily, so we will still continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as we have them. We ask for your patience and understanding as the FLA staff and Conference Committee navigates what this change means. We want to make this transition as seamless as possible for you! More information can be found here: updates related to the conference. We will continue to update this page as we have more information to share.

CARES Act Bill Information

The recently passed S. 3548 The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act includes many important relief packages including several of note to librarians:

Institute for Museum and Library Services – The bill includes $50 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services to expand digital network access in areas of the country where such access is lacking, including the purchase of internet-enable devices and provisions for technical support services in response to the disruption of schooling and other community services during the COVID-19 emergency. 

National Endowment for the Art and Humanities – Provides $150 million to state arts and humanities agencies to provide grants and support arts organizations, museums, libraries, and other organizations during the coronavirus crisis.  The bill includes $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment of the Humanities. 

Association & 501(c)3 Relief possible through CARES Act

FEMA Public Assistance Program

Admittedly, this program might be difficult to navigate, but it may be worth looking into for reimbursement of emergency protective measures. In accordance with section 502 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the “Stafford Act”), eligible emergency protective measures taken to respond to the COVID-19 emergency at the direction or guidance of public health officials may be reimbursed under Category B of FEMA’s Public Assistance program. This is not an endorsement that all libraries should apply, but merely another option.

Unemployment Help - Creative Ways for librarians to help their patrons 

We know libraries are usually open to assist with job searches and unemployment claims - closing libraries makes this tough. Pair this with the recent failing of the Department of Economic Opportunity's CONNECT website. Consider printing these application forms and leaving them for your patrons at the library!

Printed DEO Information including PHONE NUMBER to submit a Claim and What you Need

Florida Reemployment Assistance Paper Application

 

Example Libraries in the news:

Miami-Dade Public Library System to provide Reemployment Assistance Applications at 26 library locations

 

Libraries should not create programming that incorporates collection of personal data. Please check with your county risk management department about what answers can be provided. Provide assistance without directly answering or completing forms for patrons! FLA still maintains that libraries remain closed. The FLA board of directors will continue to monitor the outcome of these initiatives and will provide updated statements as necessary. FLA still maintains that libraries remain closed.

 

Florida Libraries-Who's Closed, What they're offering:

Public Libraries Check the updates here (See something that should be changed/added? Let us know: [email protected])

Academic Libraries View Real-time results of status. Also, see this 10-day Trend Report as provided by Ithaka S&R

Resources

 

ALA

  

CDC Resources

World Health Organization Resources

Employment Related Resources

What can libraries do?

The volume of visitors into a library on a given day makes it exceptionally difficult to safeguard public and employee health, and to curtail community transmission. While decisions regarding library closures are made at the local level, FLA is using our role as a leader and advocate of Florida libraries to call on all public and academic libraries in Florida to close their doors at this time, reopening when guidance from public health officials indicates the risk from COVID-19 has significantly subsided. 

News/Events/Timeline

April 8, 2020 Unemployment forms available at Palm Beach County libraries

April 6, 2020 Miami-Dade Public Library System to provide Reemployment Assistance Applications at 26 library locations

April 2, 2020 Governor DeSantis signs Reemployment Assistance Executive Order 20-93 for DEO services to improve, making paper applications available

April 1, 2020 Governor DeSantis signs Stay-at-Home Executive Order 20-91 for non-essential services

March 27, 2020 President signs into law CARES Act

March 27, 2020 Governor DeSantis issued Executive Orders #2020-86 and #2020-87, ordering 14-day isolation for anyone entering Florida from various states

March 25, 2020 President approves Florida's Major Disaster Declaration

March 20, 2020 FLA Board of Directors releases Statement on Library closures in Florida

March 20, 2020 FLA Board of Directors Reschedules Annual Conference from May 13-15 to October 28-30

March 17, 2020 ALA Executive Board Recommends Closing Libraries to Public;The American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board released this statement March 17 in support of libraries and library workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

March 16, 2020 Governor Ron DeSantis Activates Emergency Bridge Loan Program for Small Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

March 15, 2020, the CDC recommended gatherings of 50 people or more be cancelled. FLA is currently evaluating possible scenarios for the FLA Annual Conference May 13-15 and will update you as soon as possible.

March 12, 2020, ALA cancelled National Library Legislative Day, previously scheduled to take place May 4-5, 2020.

March 11, TXLA cancelled is Annual Conference, previously scheduled March 24-27, 2020.

March 9, FLA offers message on website regarding implementations if CDC Guidelines for FLA Annual Conference.

The American Library Association is encouraging libraries to share how after closing they've continued to serve their communities virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some examples of virtual services might include virtual story-time, parking-lot Wifi, etc.
 
Please use this form to share your library’s story along with any photos, or on social media using the hashtag #LibrariesStrong. Your responses may be used on ALA sites and social media channels.

Reaching FLA

We know it's important for you to be able to reach us. The FLA office will be operating as close to normal as possible, but we might be working remotely some days over the next several weeks. Please continue to reach out and we'll do our best, as always, to answer your questions:

[email protected]

(850) 270-9205

We'll work through this together!