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17 March 2020
South Dakota Library Association Statement Concerning Covid-19 Response

The South Dakota Library Association wants to commend the libraries and local officials who have made the very hard decision to close their doors to the public and at the same time, encourage others to take action.

SDLA is using our role as a leader and advocate of South Dakota libraries to call on all public libraries to close their doors in alignment with Governor Noem’s mandate to close all K-12 public schools.

We are living in an unprecedented time of uncertainty as we face this worldwide pandemic, and public libraries must do their part to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and protect our number one resource: library staff.

We believe that school closures put an increased burden on public libraries as children and families turn to us for social, educational and even childcare needs. Increased dependence on our spaces and resources for children and families displaced by school closures will in all likelihood contribute to the continued spread of the coronavirus.

In addition, SDLA encourages all libraries and local officials to consider CDC guidelines on social distancing in relation to staffing decisions. When staff are sent home as part of efforts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19, they should continue to receive regular pay or salary.

This is a challenging time for us, the nation and the world as we respond to novel coronavirus and the uncertainty surrounding it. SDLA will do our best to stay on top of this quickly evolving and fluid situation and to communicate with you regularly and fully as conditions change.

SDLA Executive Board


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