“Do not lick this book!” is the title of a children’s book by Ben-Barak. That’s good advice for all of us as the COVID-19 outbreak spreads in our region, as is washing our hands, staying away from large gatherings, and using hand sanitizer.
That book is part of a new list released by the Brooklyn Public Library. In a new approach to educating readers in the time of coronavirus, BPL released a list of books about germs, viruses, and pandemics that library-goers can check out right at their local library.
Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19 on Saturday, and the disease was officially declared to have become a pandemic by the World Health Organization this week. As those declarations and the number of confirmed cases have ramped up, so have confusion and fear about the disease. Instructions have evolved on a day-to-day basis for how to keep ourselves and our families safe as we learn more about the disease.
In creating this list, librarian Emma Carbone wanted to offer people information that they could trust, whether that was about coronavirus or about health outbreaks and hygiene in general. She made sure to include books for all age groups – adults, teens, and kids – to understand what’s happening with the coronavirus and how it compares to other epidemics and pandemics in the past.
“Libraries have always been a place to turn for information and assistance and even more so when we face uncertain times. Moreover, one of the best ways we can take care of each other is to stay informed,” Librarian Emma Carbone told us via email. “So, in this list, I hoped to provide patrons with some basic information about germs and viruses as well providing a historical perspective with books about previous pandemics. “
Children’s books on the list include titles such as, “Do Not Lick This Book!” by Ben-Barak, “You Wouldn’t Want To Meet Typhoid Mary!” by Jaqueline Morley, and “Germs” by Lesa Cline-Ransome, which will teach you “everything you wanted to know about germs, good and bad.”
The adult books on the list include books about the ebola epidemic, the AIDS epidemic, diseases that affect animals and spill over to affect humans, and more.
If you’re looking for stories to reassure a younger reader about the pandemic, an NPR editor also created a comic to teach kids about coronavirus.
You can check out the list of books here on BPL’s website.