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20/SP-INFO-619-01: COVID-19 and Human Rights

This Libguide was created as part of a final group project of 20/SP-INFO-619-01 (Information & Human Rights). The stated purpose of this class was to foster students with an "in-depth understanding of information as a human right...[so as to] equip them to understand how to use and communicate law, technology," as well as "professional standards and information sources to promote information rights and equitable access to users."

Throughout the semester, we have taken different approaches to examining the relationship between information and human rights. We have also explored the way these concepts intersect with issues of access, equity, surveillance, technology, privacy, democracy.

The global pandemic COVID-19 has drastically impacted our conception of information as it relates to human rights. Largely, these aforementioned themes have continued to resonate in our class discussions as we switched to a "remote learning" format.

Through our individual projects, we largely (though not exclusively) explore these themes through the lens of life in the age of COVID19 as we are experiencing it as students, New Yorkers, information professionals, learners, and distinct individuals writ large.

By no means is this meant to be an exhaustive list. This is primarily a snapshot of the information being compiled at this moment in time as the world and our own personal microcosms have been upended. As library and information science students, we are simply aggregating resources as they become available or known to us. 

Through this LibGuide, we situate our experiences in a broader context by sharing informational resources that have been useful to us, or that we envision may be helpful to others who are similarly struggling, helping, learning, reflecting, making, and generally being here in this place and time. 

Coronavirus Tech Handbook

Health Resources

Notify NYC: Check New York City's official source of emergency alerts for recent updates. Text "COVID" to 692692 to get the latest updates about coronavirus from Notify NYC.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

Social Services Resources


Possible Future

COVID-19 and Human Rights

Syllabi Relating to COVID-19

COVID-19, Stigma, and Racism

In the midst of this global pandemic, existing social issues relating to racial (in)justice have been exacerbated. These issues include (though are not limited to):

  • Anti-Chinese/anti-Asian scapegoating for the spread of COVID-19, taking the form of xenophobic attacks, harassment, and microaggressions, as well as other related behaviors
  • Disproportionate rates of COVID19 infection and death experienced by people of color

Many have put forth ideas on how to reconcile with and address racial injustices in the time of COVID-19. Listed below are some pieces that have emerged out of the crisis at this time.

Disability Justice

Research/Education Information Access

Achieving A Fair and Effective COVID-19 Response: An Open Letter to Vice-President Mike Pence, and Other Federal, State and Local Leaders from Public Health and Legal Experts in the United States

COVID-19 & Human Rights - Virtual Meeting of Human Rights Council (9 April 2020)


The resources featured in this LibGuide were compiled by Allee Manning and Jessica Salinas with contributions from Andreas Jonathan, Herbert Duran, and Amber Pasiak.

I guess what keeps me in librarianship, even though it has at times been extremely frustrating and even perilous, is a sort of compulsion to share, particularly ideas and information. That accounts for the kind of networking activity which I confess transcends just library colleagues and spills over into the local and national community. On discovering a piece of solid information that I suspect would interest, say, a small press preson or somebody in a particular movement group, or a "new word" collector, I simply find myself unable to suppress the instinct, the impulse, to get it to that person. So this compulsion results in a kind of pro-active, selective dissemination of information, except some would claim that maybe it's not so selective. — Sandy Berman

We see plenty of artistic work that reflects superficial social conditions, but very little work that questions fundamental values. — Ai Weiwei

The child in each of us
Knows paradise.
Paradise is home.
Home as it was
Or home as it should have been.

Paradise is one's own place,
One's own people,
One's own world,
Knowing and known,
Perhaps even
Loving and loved.
— Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower

To create a new culture does not only mean to make original discoveries on an individual basis. It also and especially means to critically popularize already discovered truths, make them, so to speak, social, therefore give them the consistency of basis for vital actions, make them coordinating elements of intellectual and social relevance. — Antonio Gramsci