June 2, 2022

IMLS Releases Research on Library Services during the Onset of COVID-19
FY2020 Public Libraries Survey and State Library Administrative Agencies Survey Data provides insight on the changes in library services brought on by the pandemic

Infographic cover 
Research Brief: State Library Administrative Agency cover

Washington, DC — The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today the release of two pieces of research on libraries and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first, a two-page infographic titled “How Public Libraries Adapted to Serve Their Communities at the Start of the COVID-19 Pandemic,” highlights strategies public libraries used to ensure patrons had access to library services as the pandemic forced closures in communities around the nation beginning in March 2020.

Findings from the first three months of the pandemic include:

  • More than 90% of public libraries in the analysis group continued to provide services to the public when their buildings closed.

  • Nearly two-thirds of libraries increased the electronic materials available to the public and offered virtual live programming to patrons during those first three months.

IMLS also released the latest research brief on the State Library Administrative Agencies (SLAA) Survey, titled “State Library Administrative Agency Adaptations in the Initial Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Ongoing Trends,” which chronicles how SLAAs formed new partnerships with other government departments and agencies to provide services to libraries in their jurisdictions or members of the public during the onset of the pandemic. The brief also describes how SLAAs adapted to new restrictions related to on-site work.

Read the PLS Infographic here and SLAA Survey Research Brief here.

About the Institute of Museum and Library Services
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. We advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. Our vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.