The CDC recommends social distancing as a strategy to prevent and slow the spread of the coronavirus. But what exactly does this mean for community gathering spaces like libraries?

As public spaces begin to open up across the country, library staff are starting to brainstorm creative ways to implement social distancing. Some libraries are waiting for the go ahead from local authorities to open their doors. And some have done it already with social distancing in place.

But libraries are traditionally places where the majority of community interaction takes place. So what exactly does social distancing look like? Let’s find out.

Social Distancing Guidelines for Libraries

When it comes to social distancing guidelines, libraries fall into the same category as other businesses and public spaces. The CDC recommends that employers take the following precautions:

  • Conducting daily health checks
  • Conducting a hazard assessment of the workplace
  • Encouraging employees to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate
  • Implementing policies and practices for social distancing in the workplace
  • Improving the building ventilation system
  • How Are Libraries Responding?

    The primary role of libraries is to serve the community, so public health and safety are a top priority. For this reason, libraries are coming up with creative ways to implement the recommended CDC guidelines. And their efforts truly deserve some applause. Making these changes is not easy so there’s some true ingenuity behind them.

    photo credit:

    For example, the UTRGV Library in Rio Grande Valley, Texas has implemented solutions that allow their members to continue using individual workspaces while limiting access to group study spaces. They’ve placed caution tape around closed off areas, increased cleaning, and restricted computer access to ensure proper distancing between patrons.

    The American Library Association also has a list of Pandemic Preparedness resources for libraries on their website. This includes a link to a video that explains the CDC’s guidelines for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 while handling paper materials.

    How the Supple Collection Can Help

    The Supple Collection is here to support your library in any way we possibly can. As experts in library design, we feel that our team is prepared with a considerable amount of knowledge and experience that can help libraries as they reopen and attempt to implement social distancing. We even have custom items available for purchase during this time, which includes a line of Sneeze Guards. We can also make custom signage for you to display in your library to help employees and patrons follow CDC guidelines.

    Get in Touch

    Reach out today to learn more about the custom design and fabrication services we offer for libraries.