Planning Post-Lockdown Reopening of Libraries: A Review of Literature


  • Retired Professor, Bangalore University, India
  • University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Library and Information Science, India


The majority of libraries across the world in as many as 188 countries have been shut down due to COVID-19 pandemic. The situation in India is the same. Most educational institutions have been closed since 24th March. Libraries have also been closed during this period. The libraries would open on 1 June 2020, and most library managers would be thinking, what to do after reopening? Where to start, what should be the priorities, what security measures need to be put in place, etc. During this period users’ services as also the normal functioning of libraries have been affected. The IFLA and many LIS professional bodies across the world have suggested several key remedial measures on the reopening of libraries. The published literature in this regard is quite extensive and voluminous. This paper has attempted a review of literature and to provide links to these papers for libraries to make use of them when in need.


COVID-19, Geospatial Lockdown, Reopening Libraries, Strategic Planning.

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ALA (2020). Executive Board Recommends Closing Libraries to Public American Libraries, Accessed on March 17, 2020. blogs/the-scoop/ala-executive-board-recommends-closing-libraries-to-public/.

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) (2020). Australian libraries responding to COVID-19: Checklist for reopening libraries. Accessed on 23rd May 2020. Retrieved from australian-libraries-responding-covid-19-checklistreopeninglibraries.

Balzer, C. (2020). Reopening: Not “When”? But “How”? American Libraries. Accessed on 21 May 2020. Retrieved from covid-19-reopening-libraries-not-when-but-how/.

CCSA - Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (2020). How COVID-19 is changing the world: A statistical perspective. Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities. Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities.,

Correspondence (2020). Aerosols and surface stability of SARS-CoV2 as compared to SARS-CoV-1. Correspondence Published on March 17, 2020, and appeared on April 16, 2020. New England Journal of Medicine, 382, 1564-67. NEJMc2004973. PMid: 32182409, PMCid: PMC7121658.

Ewen, L. (2020). How to sanitize collection in a pandemic: Conservators weigh in on the mysteries of materials handling during COVID-19. American Libraries. https://

The Rediff News Bureau. How will you live, work, eat postcoronavirus world. pix-how-will-you-live--work-in-post-coronavirusworld/ 20200519.htm.

IFLA (2020). COVID-19 and the Global Library Field.

Accessed on 22nd May 2020. Retrieved from https://

IMLS - Institute of Museum and Library Services (2020): COVID-19 Research Partnership to Inform Safe Handling of Collections, Reopening Practices for Libraries, Museums April 22.

IMLS - Institute of Museum and Library Services (2020). Libraries are a refuge in times of crisis. Retrieved from on 24th May 2020.

The Johns Hopkins University of Medicine (2020). Coronovirous Resource Center. Accessed on 18 May 2020. Retrieved from,

Kampf, G., Todt, D., Pfaender, S. and Steinmann, E. (2020). Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents. Journal of Hospital Infection, 104(3), 246-51. PMid: 32035997, PMCid: PMC7132493.

Li, Q.G., et al. (2020). Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. New England Journal of Medicine (epub ahead of print 29 January 2020).

Mahase, E. (2020). China coronavirus: WHO declares international emergency as death toll exceeds 2020. British Medical Journal, 368, 408. bmj.m408. PMid: 32005727.

Peet, L. (April 9, 2020). IMLS, CDC offers guidance for disinfecting returned library books. School Library Journal. Accessed on 22 May 2020. Retrieved from https://

University Grants Commission. COVID-19. Accessed on 8th April 2020. Retrieved from ugc_notices.aspx.

Warrier, S. (2020). Economy will take 18 months to 2 years to recover. Accessed on 20 May 2020.

Watwe, S. (2020). COVID-19: The novel threat. Yojana, May, 11-13

Zeldovich, L. (2020). Tests to detect Coronavirus on surfaces show mixed results. Accessed on 26 May 2020. Retrieved from


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