COVID-19 Resource Page

Where to get facts:

Useful resources:


From Executive Director Celeste Choate

Updated March 20, 2020

The Library is closed until further notice due to the Governor's Executive Order to Stay at Home.  Please continue to check this page and our social media for further updates.

We hope that you are taking advantage with the many digital collections the Library offers.  If you have any questions about any of our digital resources, please complete a Ask a Librarian form and a staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.  

Updated March 15, 2020

To help contain the spread of COVID-19 in our community, The Urbana Free Library (TUFL) is temporarily closed to the public through Monday, March 30. We plan to reopen and resume normal services on Tuesday, March 31. All programming, outreach, and meeting room bookings have been canceled through April 12. We will continue to monitor the fluid situation and will reassess as new information becomes available. Closing the library for an extended period to “flatten the curve,” is a difficult decision, but the health and safety of our community and staff are our first priority. We apologize for any inconvenience. According to the CDC, early actions to increase social distancing are the best way to contain COVID-19. According to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the “overriding goal in our community will be to keep the healthcare system, and especially the hospitals, from becoming overwhelmed during local spread.”

Primary Election:

The Urbana Free Library will serve as a polling place for the primary election this Tuesday, March 17, but no library services will be available.  There will be a slight change regarding access to The Urbana Free Library. Please use the ramp on the Elm Street (north) side of the building to access The Lewis Auditorium for voting. There will be signage directing voters to the proper door to enter and exit for polling purposes. Hours for the polling place will remain unchanged. Voters can park on Elm Street (north side of the Library) for easy access or can park in the parking lot immediately south of the Library and walk around the building.

Using the Library:

  • Due dates for all materials in the collection are extended to different dates in early May. Drop boxes for materials are closed, so please don’t return anything – just stay home and enjoy your materials longer!
  • Your holds will be waiting for you on the hold shelves when we reopen. You are still able to place requests, and we will begin filling them when we reopen.
  • We are committed to proving access to diverse resources and programs. Online services are available with your library card and PIN number.
  • Download our app by searching Urbana Free in your app store or visit our Databases page.
  • Using our eBooks & More page, you can download an eBook, graphic novel, or audiobooks, plus stream films, TV shows, and music for all ages.
  • Request a Personalized Reading List, and we will send you one as soon as we can.
  • Please stay tuned to urbanafreelibrary.org, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.

We are in regular communication with staff and all TUFL staff will continue to be paid during this time. You can contact us via email, and we will reply as soon as we can.

Please continue to check this page for updates:  https://urbanafreelibrary.org/eresources/covid-19-resource-page

We look forward to hearing from you and then seeing you in person soon!

Temporary Closure:  In the interest of public health, the Urbana Free Library will temporarily close on Saturday, March 14 and Sunday, March 15.  This decision was not made lightly and follows the Governor's recommendation to utilize social distance as a tactic to slow the spread of COVID-19.  Please check our website and social media for information about possible changes to our schedule next week.  Download the Library's app for continued access to digital content.

Updated March 13, 2020:  Due dates for all items currently checked out have been extended to the first week of May.  Please check your account for the new dates.  These extended due dates will allow anyone who is sick or taking extra precautions to keep their items longer and not worry about having to return them to the Library.

Updated March 12, 2020

Dear patrons,

The safety of our patrons and employees is a priority to The Urbana Free Library.  We are working to stay on top of this evolving COVID-19 situation following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Our current plan is to:  1) prioritize the safety and health of our staff and patrons; 2) continue serving your library needs for the time being; and 3) plan ahead for changing circumstances.

In the interest of public health and effective immediately, all Library events are canceled through April 12, 2020. Room reservations, meeting room bookings, library outreach, and partnership programs are also canceled for now. We will work on rescheduling events at a later date, especially The Friends of The Urbana Free Library Book Sale.

We are working to ensure that all items currently checked out will be due at a later date. Please check your account if you have questions about this.

As of right now, the Urbana Free Library is still a polling place for the election March 17, 2020.

Until further notice, The Urbana Free Library will remain open to the public with normal hours of operation. TUFL is taking these steps to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Please watch this page for updates.

Below is a curated list of sources for patrons to obtain reliable COVID-19 information.

How we are responding:

  • Library cleaning:  Surfaces are wiped down with disinfectant three times a day.  Wipes are available at service desks if patrons want to wipe down computers or other equipment they plan to use.  We are not currently disinfecting materials in the collection due to limited resources and supplies.

In addition, we have removed all toys from the Children’s Area of the Library as these items are difficult to disinfect quickly and are passed between patrons frequently.

  • Staff and patron hygiene:  Wipes are available to staff and patrons to wipe down surfaces and we encourage frequent hand-washing by everyone.
  • Library services:  We are developing staffing and service models should we need to reduce or modify services.

How patrons can help:

  • If you are sick, please stay home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cough into your elbow if you are sick.

Next steps:

We are monitoring the situation closely, staying up-to-date on information from federal agencies, health organizations, and other experts.  We will post more information when changes occur.

In the meantime, as a reminder, the Library has  many digital services available to you for free, such as ebooks and e-audiobooks and streaming movies via Hoopla or Kanopy (click here for more info) and online databases (click here for more info).  Also download our app by searching Urbana Free in your app store.

Thank you for working to keep TUFL a healthy environment.

Celeste Choate
Executive Director
cchoate@urbanafree.org