An article posted last week to Book Riot has detailed the trials that some of the library field's most vulnerable workers have been facing amidst the global coronavirus pandemic.
As the article details, staff at libraries across the country are facing furloughs, being forced to work without adequate supplies or guidance, and in some cases being transferred to pandemic response work they are not trained or prepared for.
Some library worker advocates have begun tracking library layoffs and furloughs brought on by the pandemic in a shared Google Document located here. They are also encouraging the spread on social media of the hashtag #protectlibraryworkers. Organizers are also encouraging people to support library workers through the work of the HALO (Help A Library worker Out) fund.
Advocates for library workers argue that, with budgets already set for libraries at the beginning of the fiscal year, forcing library workers to decide to work in potentially dangerous environments or take paid time off (which many of the lowest paid library staff across the country do not have) or, worse, laying off or furloughing staff amidst this pandemic is both shortsighted and wrong.