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We are being reminded just how connected we all are – and how much we depend on one another. And it's not just the spread of the virus. For everyone who works from home, there are many more who make that possible by working at the hospital, the supermarket, the delivery service. This moment shows us how much we all need each other to keep going.

We've been almost four weeks in nationwide rāhui and together we are making a difference – we have broken the chain of transmission. The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern has announced New Zealand will exit COVID-19 Alert Level Four at 11.59pm on Monday April 27. Alert Level Three will then hold for a minimum of two weeks. Further decisions will be made by Cabinet on May 11.

Under COVID-19 Alert Level Three, businesses that can ensure physical distancing and a lack of any contact with customers are able to open. The emphasis shifts from “essential” to “safe” businesses. Public bars, cafes, malls and retail stores would for the most part be required to remain closed. Under level three, all public venues, including libraries, must remain closed to the public and everyone should work remotely unless it is not possible.

Collectively, the library and information sector is rising to meet this challenge, as we have risen to other challenges before, by sharing insights, knowledge, and practical help.

Every day brings new headlines about Corona virus (COVID-19) globally. In this rapidly developing situation, New Zealand libraries and other organisations should be guided by their host organisations who in turn take advice from their local DHB and Ministry of Health.

On this page:


If you find useful resources – please send to so it can be added to this page.



Pregnant women and children

Explaining COVID 19 to children and teenagers

  • Kids Health for Nemours
    Kids Health has information on COVID-19 for children in English and Spanish and available in audio. Other sections of their website have information for parents.
  • LittlePuddins Blog
    lLittle Puddins Blog has a nice, English language "Coronavirus Social Story."
  • BrainPOP
    BrainPOP has a surprisingly entertaining, at time humorous, basic explanation of COVID-19 and needed precautions for primary-age children and young teens.
  • NPR's Goats and Soda
    Basic information for youth in a graphic format that can be read in the Blog or downloaded and folded into a zine.

ALA Member Digest March 16
Thanks to Carrie Banks, Supervising Librarian, Inclusive Services, Brooklyn Public Library, President Elect, ASGCLA for these links.

Resources From Siouxsie Wiles

Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles has written a good explanation on How testing for COVID-19 works. She has also offered some context around a couple of new studies on COVID19. They were able to detect viable virus for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Siouxsie has also written about the most effective ways to clean surfaces.


As mentioned in earlier communications from the LIANZA Office, Associate Professor Siouxsie Wiles has offered some context around a couple of new studies on COVID19. They were able to detect viable virus for up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Siouxsie has also written about the most effective ways to clean surfaces.

You might want to consider creating more space between workstations and more regular cleaning of surfaces such as: books, touchscreens, computer mice and keyboards, chairs and tables, door handles, toys, musical instruments. You may also want to consider restricting the use of some of these things if the situation worsens.

LIANZA has been in contact with Dr Wiles for more specific advice around handling books and she has responded:

Given the virus lasts for up to 3 days on surfaces, one strategy would be to put books into a three-day 'quarantine' between being put back into circulation. It's advisable to wipe down covers if that is possible too.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles, MNZM, is a microbiologist and science communicator based in New Zealand. Her specialist areas are infectious diseases and bioluminescence. She is the head of University of Auckland's Bioluminescent Superbugs Lab.

More advice from ALIA:

Library books carry similar risks to any other surface which comes into contact with the COVID-19 virus. US researchers from a number of specialist centres in American universities found that the Covid-19 virus can survive for up to 24 hours on cardboard: "We found that viable virus could be detected in aerosols up to 3 hours post aerosolization, up to 4 hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 2-3 days on plastic and stainless steel." This research suggests that if libraries are concerned about the safety of returned books, there is less risk 24 hours after they have been returned. Another study recently published in the Journal of Hospital Infection (March 2020) has also found that various coronaviruses linked to COVID-19 can persist on surfaces, including paper, metal and glass, for 4-5 days, and can remain infectious on inanimate surfaces for up to 9 days.

Library users should be encouraged to follow good hygiene practices, especially thorough hand-washing, when handling books or any shared objects in the library. Library staff should be sanitising surfaces such as table tops, handles, and PC keyboards regularly.

Virtual Reality (VR) headsets have also been flagged as a risk. Libraries may wish to postpone this service for the time being. [LIANZA Office also recommend you think about touch screens]