May 28, 2022

Journal Article: “Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Where Do Public Libraries Stand?”

The following article (full text, open access) was recently published by Public Library Quarterly.


Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: Where Do Public Libraries Stand?


Bibi M. Alajmi
Dept. of Information Studies, Kuwait University

Dalal Albudaiwi
Dept. of Information Studies, Kuwait University


Public Library Quarterly
Online: October 19, 2020
DOI: 10.1080/01616846.2020.1827618


This paper aims to identify how public libraries used Twitter in the initial months after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Content analysis was performed on a dataset of 9,450 tweets published by 38 public libraries in New York City between December 2019 and April 2020. The study showed that 85.5% of the tweets published by NYC public libraries were related to regular library communications, such as announcements of library service updates, book recommendations, suggested readings and activities, celebrations of specific occasions or individuals, and notices of upcoming events. Meanwhile, 14.5% of the tweets published from January/April 2020 were directly and explicitly related to COVID-19. NYC public libraries posted details of the remote library services available during the closure, as well as comforting and socially supportive messages, and provided information about the financial, health, and food-related support available to the community. The findings suggest that during the pandemic, NYC public libraries mostly continued to conduct business as usual and, in doing so, may have brought a valuable feeling of normalcy to the communities they serve during those problematic and strained days.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.