Why California Is Recruiting Librarians to Help Trace Covid-19’s Spread Through the State

The search is on.

As Californian’s ramp up contact tracing for Covid-19, the state is looking to librarians for help. One of those is San Francisco librarian Lisa Fagundes, who has spent the last few months at home during the pandemic. According to NPR, “She is part of the first team of contact tracers trained through a new virtual academy based at the University of California–San Francisco. The state awarded the university an $8.7 million contract in May to expand the academy and train 20,000 new contact tracers throughout California by July—one of the largest such efforts in the country.

“Librarians are an obvious choice for the job, says Fagundes, who normally works at the information desk of the San Francisco Main Library. They’re curious, they’re tech savvy, and they’re really good at getting people they barely know to open up.

“Because a lot of times patrons come up to you and they’re like, ‘Uh, I’m looking for a book – ’ and they don’t really know what they’re looking for or they don’t know how to describe it,” Fagundes says.

Read more about the training process here.

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