Resources and Information for Libraries During COVID-19

Updated as of June 4, 2020 at 1:00 PM

This webpage is meant to serve as a resource as you respond to the COVID-19 Crisis. It will be updated regularly with information and resources from government sources, organizations, OLA members, volunteers, and staff. If you have resources that should be added, please email sroberts@accessola.com

For updates on OLA operations and events, and news from the library sector, visit our Important Updates and News For Libraries During COVID-19 webpage.

Thank you Ontario libraries

Across the province, libraries of all kinds are rising to the challenge of serving their communities during the COVID-19 Crisis: providing online and phone services, maintaining board governance virtually, partnering with community agencies, supporting schools and students (K-12 and post-secondary!) with digital expertise, and navigating everything online.

We appreciate that our members are doing all this while juggling family needs, experiencing the stress of providing services in different ways, and knowing that some of our members are experiencing temporary lay-offs.

Thank you so much for everything that you do!

Education Institute


Webinar Recordings - Free for OLA Members, Unless Otherwise Indicated

Upcoming Webinars - Free for OLA Members

We are curating content to help you through the changing landscape of your regular work. If you have any idea that can support the library community or if you or your organization are seeking solutions for providing professional development for staff in bulk, please contact OLA's Training and Education Specialist, Destiny Laldeo, dlaldeo@accessola.com.


How are Ontario Libraries Responding to COVID-19?

Library Programming Resources


Read alouds and Resources for Readers

  • Learn: Forest of Reading website. Open to the public, the Forest of Reading website has over 500 resources and activities for all Forest of Reading nominated titles.
  • Learn: How to Access the English Forest of Reading Books.
    A quick overview of the copyright permissions and how to access Forest of Reading books during COVID-19.
  • Learn: How to Access the French Forest of Reading Books.
    A quick overview of the copyright permissions for the French titles in the Forest of Reading program during COVID-19.
  • Learn: Online Reading Resources list (April 2, 2020). A list of online book and educational resources available for free. Created by OLA member Lynn Goodwin.
  • Learn: Read Aloud Canadian Books Program - The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and Access Copyright
    The Read Aloud Canadian Books Program will allow, on a temporary basis, a waiver of licence fees related to the reading of all or part of select in-print books from participating publishers and authors, and the posting of the video recording online.
  • Watch: Blue Spruce Award program read aloud videos
    Youtube videos of Blue Spruce 2020 authors reading nominated titles.
  • Watch: Virtual Author Visits from the Forest of Reading in English and in French
    All Virtual Author Visits with Forest of Reading 2020 authors have been archived and are available for free until June 1.
  • Free Giller Prize Audiobooks Available until June 28, 2020 - Giller Prize
    10 Scotiabank Giller Prize-winning books are available for free through Audible
  • Fair Dealing Guidance for Canadian Libraries During the Time of COVID-19 - Canadian Federation of Library Associations
    The Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) has issued a guidance document to support libraries in considering copyright as they provide services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Watch: Bibliovideo: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC)
    A YouTube channel dedicated to Canadian children's books called Bibliovideo. Bibliovideo features videos and links to resources in French and English about Canadian books for children and youth.

Other Activities for Students and Libraries
  • Listen: Sound and Music Resources
  • Listen: I Value Canadian Stories Podcast from VoicEd Radio Featuring Canadian authors in discussion with retired educator Stephen Hurley and other Canadian teachers talking about what sparks their imagination and tips for students exploring their writing abilities
  • Listen: First Chapter Fridays Podcast from VoicEd Radio Educator Tanya Polasek reads the first chapter of a Canadian Young Adult book each Friday to engage her students in and outside her classroom.
  • Watch: CFE Virtual Forum Series - Ryerson University’s Centre for Free Expression
    A weekly, free webinar series on civil liberties, free expression, smart cities and more. Archived sessions will be available.

Mental Health Resources

  • Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support Portal  - Government of Canada
    Wellness Together Canada provides tools and resources to help get Canadians back on track. These include modules for addressing low mood, worry, substance use, social isolation and relationship issues.
  • COVID-19: Mental Health Resources - Librarianship.ca
    A list of resources to help manage your mental health and to respond to anxiety during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Manage Anxiety & Stress - Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Resources and advice on managing anxiety and stress related to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Talking to Children about COVID-19 - Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
    Guidance for parents, family members, school staff, and other trusted adults to help children make sense of what they hear about COVID-19 and ways they can avoid getting and spreading the disease.
  • COVID-19 Mental Health Resources for Kids and Teens - Kids Help Phone
    Mental health resources for kids and teens
  • Mental Health Tips - MIND UK
    Multilingual, downloadable mental health tips for managing anxiety and stress related to the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Resources for School Libraries


Resources for Public Libraries and Boards


COVID-19 General Information


Learn About COVID-19

Shareable Resources
  • COVID-19 Public Resources - Public Health Ontario
    A collection of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) fact sheets on self-isolation and self monitoring
  • Clean Hands and Covering Coughs - Thunder Bay District Health Unit
    This website contains multilingual posters on keeping hands clean (hand hygiene) and covering coughs and sneezes (respiratory etiquette) to prevent the spread of infections
  • Hand Hygiene - City of Toronto
    This website has multiple resources on hand hygiene that includes posters on hand washing, hand sanitizer use, and coughing. These posters are available in multiple languages and can be downloaded or printed for use by patrons and staff.