From the Board of Urban Librarians Unite:
Urban Librarians Unite is in support of the inclusion of all library workers in public libraries in state and local Phase 1b vaccine distribution plans. Including library workers will protect library staff and help minimize risks to library users and visitors. Libraries are community hubs that are still serving our communities throughout the pandemic, any delay in inoculating librarians and library workers will continue to expose our colleagues to unnecessary risk and delay the reopening of our treasured institutions.
Libraries have a history of serving communities after major catastrophic events. In New York State, library staff provided vital assistance in the wake of the late-2000s recession and in the aftermath of SuperStorm Sandy. Library staff serve our communities every day as a vital part of our social safety net, providing the information and access that people need to manage their lives. With the deep pandemic-related impacts to our local and state economies, libraries both want and need to be there for our community again. Our high-traffic facilities and intensive individual and group work with visitors to our locations, the pandemic has made it necessary to limit library operations to preserve and protect community health. Vaccinating staff promptly is a crucial piece in our phased reopening plans, allowing us to offer greater access to our physical resources safely.
As a library-worker focused advocacy organization, we have a deep understanding of the vital role public libraries play in our communities. We urge state and local health officials to include library staff at all levels in Phase 1b of vaccinations.
In Solidarity with our Colleagues,