This article will be updated as new information becomes available.
In response to the coronavirus outbreak, the University of Minnesota has cancelled all staff travel, foreign and domestic, and eliminated in-person classes in favor of online instruction through April 1. Accordingly, Minitex has received a number of inquiries regarding the status of our services.
Minitex Resource Sharing and Delivery services have been suspended as of Tuesday, March 17. All other Minitex services are functioning as normal. We will provide detailed information if and when additional services are affected. We are actively monitoring the situation and updating response plans in conjunction with the University of Minnesota Libraries.
We are cognizant that service interruptions elsewhere may impact our services, particularly with regard to Resource Sharing and Delivery. A number of Minnesota libraries have already planned to reduce services (see spreadsheet link below).
Please help us gather this important information. If your library is closing, reducing services, or taking other precautions, please fill out this very short, one-page form. You can view responses from other libraries in this online spreadsheet.
March 23 Update
Due to building closures at the University of Minnesota (where Minitex is located) and reduced access to commercial delivery services, Minitex is suspending library product sales (aside from barcodes) via the Shop Minitex website, effective immediately.
March 16 Update
Minitex Resource Sharing and Delivery services are suspended as of Tuesday, March 17. All Minitex delivery routes will be cancelled through Friday, March 27. Suspension of services will be reconsidered at that time. University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel has directed all University libraries systemwide to close beginning March 17, until further notice. All Minitex staff whose jobs can be performed remotely are now teleworking.
The Walz administration advised all libraries capable of accommodating social distancing to remain open. The administration also issued further restrictions on public activity, closing restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues beginning at 5:00 pm on March 17.
March 13 Update
The Walz administration unveiled recommended Strategies to Slow the Spread of COVID-19 in Minnesota. The document does not directly address libraries, but does recommend postponing or canceling "large events where 250 people or more would gather" as well as "events with more than 10 people where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19." The document also instructs workplaces to "encourage staff to telework (when feasible) and to "implement social distancing measures" by "[increasing] physical space between workers, [staggering] work schedules, and "[decreasing] social contacts in the workplace."