As of March 20, 2020, there have been 15,219 reported cases of COVID-19 in the United States of America (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2020b; Pan American Health Organization [PAHO], 2020). There are 16,568 public library buildings in the United States (American Library Association, 2019). Since they are community centers and publicly owned institutions, libraries are charged with ensuring that their patrons are taken care of and that they are serving their communities to the best of their ability.

The purpose of this study is to examine the rate of COVID-19 infections reported to the CDC in the United States and the number of libraries who self-reported their closures to the American Library Association. This study aims to determine if the infection rates can predict the number of closures and examine the rates of closures within each state to determine if there is a discernable difference between the number of library closures by state.


This article was updated March 23, 2021, to correctly reflect the source of the library closure data used in the article's analysis.