We are open 24/7 online! All buildings of Richmond Public Library are closed until further notice. All programs and meeting rooms are canceled through June 10 per the Governor's Stay-at-Home Order. Book drops will be unavailable - please hold onto any checked out materials until we reopen.  

Richmond Public Library and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posted about 3 weeks ago by Nancy Buck
Posted in Book Reviews


March 31, 2020
Mayor Stoney has declared a state of emergency for the City of Richmond.  A state of emergency is a legal status that allows local government to have easier access to financial resources and to mobilize assets in a timely matter to address the needs of city residents.   Keep up-to-date here.

Due to rising concerns with the Coronavirus in Central Virginia, Richmond Public Library has canceled all adult, young adult and children’s programming through June 10, 2020.  This is in accordance with Governor Northam’s Stay-at-Home Order.  All meeting and study room bookings are canceled as well.  We are closed.

Additionally, all book drops will be locked.  Please hold any of your checked out materials until we reopen.  We have extended due dates to May 15, 2020, and we are not charging fines, as you know.


We want to share how we are addressing the concerns over Coronavirus in our public spaces:

  •  Elevated cleaning measures in all buildings
  •  Reminders for staff and patrons of proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
    – Covering coughs and sneezes with something other than your hand
    – Washing hands frequently with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds
    – Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth
    – Avoid shaking hands in greeting – elbow bump or wave jazz hands to say hello!
    – Routine wiping and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces
  •  Staff are encouraged to stay home if they are ill or have a fever
  • The Friends of RPL will postpone their spring book sale.  We are not accepting any donations at this time.

For the health and safety of others, Richmond Public Libraries are closed.  If you think you have the virus, we urge you to stay home (See symptoms here.) Please do your part to stop the spread of germs and disease. If you need some information or something to read, call us at (804) 646-7223 and we’ll be happy to help. The fastest way to contact us is through our web form at Contact Us

City of Richmond, Virginia
The City is committed to providing a centralized, reliable place to access regional and city-specific information.  See the City’s webpage; they will continually update it.

The Virginia Department of Health is making updates to their website as new information becomes available. Or visit the Richmond City Health District website. You can sign up to receive updates by email.

If you experience symptoms such as fever, cough and shortness of breath and have a recent history of travel to China or contact with someone suspected of having COVID-19, please contact your healthcare provider and tell them that have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed when you go their office.

US Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The CDC works to protect America from health, safety and security threats, including fighting diseases and supporting communities and citizens to do the same.

Hesperian Health Guides
Hesperian Health Guides, a nonprofit organization promoting access to health information and health education, has provided information about Coronavirus or COVID-19 in Spanish.
Coronavirus COVID-19 en español

World Health Organization (WHO)
The WHO works worldwide to promote health and safety by identifying and responding to health emergencies, especially in vulnerable communities.

If you prefer not to visit a library in person during this time, you can borrow from RPL’s large digital collection of e-books, audiobooks e-magazines, and streaming movies and TV shows. Download and stream instantly for free with your Library card. Don’t have a card? Get an e-card now.

  • Try out the RBDigital Collection of audiobooks. Over 30,000 audiobooks, most of them are available for simultaneous use. No waiting is required!
  • Read an ebook or 25 with Overdrive.
  • Stream Movies and TV free with your Richmond Public Library Card. You can stream acclaimed films, captivating documentaries, feature films, foreign films, inspirational biographies, and television shows, look at comics, or read some ebooks with hoopla.  Each library card holder has 8 checkouts/month.
  • But wait – there’s more.  Check out your RBDigital app – you can now access Acorn TV, IndieFlix, LearnItLive, The Great Courses, Method Test Prep for ACT/SAT tests, Pongalo Novela Club or telenovelas, Stingray Qello concerts.  You can use any 2 of these channels for up to seven days to binge watch as you desire.

Need more help from home? Call any of our locations.

(with thanks to the research librarians at IndyPL, Indianapolis Public Library, IN)

About the Author

Public librarian with over 35 years experience.

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