Our COVID-19 Transition Plan

Note: This is subject to change as new information comes forward

 

Summary

This service plan seeks to explore multiple tiers of service, each responsive to varied health and

safety conditions, recommendations from local, state and national health officials/agencies,

social distancing protocols, and critical community needs during a pandemic, such as COVID-19. Our current plan moves us through the phase of transitioning that provides some services outside the building.

 

Key focus Areas to Consider

  • Review occupational risk

  • Personal risk

  • Re-establishing library services and work during COVID-19

  • Returning to work after exposure to COVID-19

  • Screening before work entry 

  • Preventing transmission at work

 

Plan Priorities

 

A. Staff Safety

Securing staff safety is the top priority of this Interim Service Plan and the determination

of tiers of service. Staff interactions and in-person services may pose a high risk of virus

transmission to staff who may be exposed to infected individuals or infected materials

and surfaces.

 

B. Public Safety

This plan strives to position the library within the context of community safety and a

responsibility to reduce community transmissions. In-person services must be staged

and responsive to wider health implications. Service decisions require coordination with health officials for guidance regarding their impact.

 

C. Defining and Evaluating Essential Services/Phases in a Pandemic   

This plan recognizes that services considered as core during normal library operations

do not necessarily hold the same priority during a pandemic. It is therefore vital to

define which services are critical and assess whether it is possible to provide these

services in a way that does not put staff and community safety at risk. It is imperative to evaluate whether services traditionally provided in person may be transferred online to provide staff and the community with a safer method of access during a pandemic.

 

 

Staff & Public Safety Considerations

 

A. Current Levels of Community Health 

This plan will, to the extent possible, follow the direction of the City of Lebanon policies and recommendations. If the Stay at Home Order is lifted before public and staff safety can be assured, other factors will be used in determining tiers of services. This includes the local healthcare system’s capacity to withstand a moderate outbreak and community access to efficient testing and contact tracing, and other metrics of public health.

 

B. Vulnerable Staff Members 

Due to risk factors, some staff or their family members may be at higher risk of complications if exposed to the virus by an infected individual, material or surface. These will be handled on a case by case basis with guidance from the city’s HR department. 

 

C. Teleworking From an Operational Standpoint 

When appropriate, to the extent possible, working remotely is encouraged as an operational priority in providing services. 

 

D. Healthy Work Environment 

Operational decisions rely on the ability of staff to meet the safety requirements of a healthy work environment, e.g., availability of PPE, staff health, personal health risks, mental health. 

 

E. Social Distancing & Security 

The following considerations regarding social distancing and security will play a significant role in determining tiers of service: 

 

  1. Ability to restructure physical spaces for social distancing of both staff and the public 

  2. Required safety measures for the public, e.i., no-touch services

  3. Risk factors to staff if there is a need for staff to regulate visitors

  4. Out-of-state travel by employees (will follow HR recommendations/policy)

  5. Liability as an employer and as a public institution 

 

F. Sanitation of Circulating Materials 

This plan will defer to the most current scientific recommendations regarding safe handling of circulating materials and safety actions.

 

G. Availability of Hygiene Materials and PPE 

In acquiring supplies to support a safe work environment and reduce community transmission, this plan must consider the appropriate availability of PPE for library staff/patrons versus the needs of health care workers and first responders.

 

H. Frequency of Professional Cleaning Services 

In-person services and staff interactions may be limited by the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning services, recognizing that browsing collections and the countless surface areas in a public building may become vectors of virus transmission.

 

Level of Service 

 

A. Virtual Services 

Virtual Services may include but are not limited to the digital collection of eBooks, audiobooks and magazines, on-demand streaming services,on-demand 24/7 learning and research databases, on-demand 24/7 virtual programming, and email/phone reference services. 

 

B. Circulation of Physical Items (based on phase of transition)

Circulation of Physical Items may include,but is not limited to, providing in-person access i.e contactless checkout; to the physical collection, including books, audios and DVDs, as well as Cool Stuff Collection, devices, Museum passes, and Interlibrary Loan Items. 

 

C. Programming (based on phase of transition) 

Programming may include both staff-directed programs, such as storytimes, book discussion groups, lectures, and self-directed programs. 

  1. 100% virtual programming - All programs offered online, either live via platforms such as Jitsi or on-demand via download or streaming

  2. No-touch programming, with registration (circulating kits and take-home activities) 

    1. Self-directed programs such as crafts available upon registration 

  3. Limited access programming (attendance by registration, strict social distancing required) with a continued component of virtual attendance

    1. Programs offered live and in-person to small groups with strict social distancing protocol enforced, while virtual programming offered online to a larger number of participants 

 

D. Technology Services 

Technology Services may include both access to technology assistance and guidance, as well as access itself to internet access, wifi, and/or device usage. 

  1. 100% virtual - Online tutorials, Email/chat reference, Jitsi Tech Tutor

  2. All virtual services including access to wifi from outside the library building

 

E. In-person/ In-building Services (based on phase of transition)

In-person Services refers to services in or outside the library building that require person-to-person interaction between staff and members of the public, with and without social distancing. 

  1. No in-person services 

  2. Curbside services 

 

F. Community Outreach (based on phase of transition) 

  1. No outreach programs, including organizational/school visits, books-by-mail, and no meeting room reservations 

  2. No outreach except books-by-mail

 

Communication 

Individuals absorb information differently during a crisis. Furthermore, crises may result in an excessive or an overabundance of information, much of which may be inaccurate. Clear, open, and informed communication during a pandemic is therefore of the utmost importance. This portion of the Transition Service Plan seeks to define key talking points for communicating with the library’s stakeholders: City Manager, Staff, Trustees and Public. 

 

A. City Manager 

  1. City Manager-approved policies provide critical support to the Library Director so that sound operational  decisions may be made in response to changing needs/conditions 

  2. Decisions must be conscious of liability for both staff and public and should be created in conjunction with input from state and local officials, as well as the city’s HR department/legal counsel.

 

B. Staff 

  1. Staff require reassurance that reopening plans will be data-driven and responsive to safety concerns. 

  2. Provide an open door policy of communication with regular, consistent updates, to reduce staff anxiety and make them partners in accurate communication with stakeholders. 

  3. Provide clear guidance and training on new pandemic procedures for all staff and per department. 

 

C. Public 

  1. Communicate that reopening will be phased and in direct response to health and safety conditions, at both the state and local level. 

  2. Request patience as the library strives to balance service and safety.

  3. Market the 24/7 on-demand services that the library provides.

  4. Educate on how to access those available online resources, demonstrating that only the building is closed, not the services.

  5. Advocate about the value of libraries during the crisis and the essential roles they will play in recovery.

  6. Provide regularly updated FAQ to address changing needs/concerns. 

 

Staff & Service Phases

Versions of the phases for the public will be referred to as phases.

Phase 1:  Closing of Building

  1. Building is not open to either staff or public. 

  2. Services are all virtual/digital, with the exception of payroll and invoice processing.

  3. Plan reopening steps such as how to transition staff back to building, staff screening, manage book returns, order supplies

  4. Create/implement screening procedure, staggered and rotating staff schedules for initial staff, provided adequate public area sanitation supplies are available

 

Phase 2: Limited Staff Return

  1. Limited staff may work in buildings with appropriate social distancing: staff will continue to work from home for the most part

  2. Book returns open

  3. Adjust physical work spaces

  4. Develop, document, andassess a cleaning scheduleand procedures for staff cleaning duties. Inventory and acquire PPE and cleaning supplies, ensure ongoing supply chain available

  5. Staging building and acquiring necessary supplies for accepting and quarantining returns; Koha (ILS) emergency closing in place -- due dates continue to be extended

  6. Collections & circulation work caught-up (processing of material, shelving etc.)

  7. Staggered and rotating staff schedules for all staff, provided adequate public area sanitation supplies are available

  8. Develop procedures and timeline for implementation of Contactless Book service. Communicate with the public to set reasonable expectations re: availability of materials and expected timeline for services to begin. Koha settings adjusted so patrons can place holds on physical Items and will be notified when holds are ready for Contactless Pickup.

  9. Continue providing on-line reference, virtual programming continues and full digital services.

 

Phase 3: Some Public Services Restored Out of Building 

  1. Phase 2 plus evaluation/implementation of public service hours and contactless delivery/pick-up of library collection materialsbegins during set hours with limited staff. 

  2. Evaluate homebound outreach delivery of materials services.

 

Safety Actions and Guidelines 

 

A. Healthy Hygiene Practices

  1. Hand washing

  2. Covering coughs and sneezes

  3. Using face coverings when around others where feasible

  4. Have adequate supplies to support required hygiene behaviors (soap, hand sanitizer)

 

B. Intensify Cleaning, Disinfection, and Ventilation

  1. Post protocols and clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and shared objects between use

  2. Avoid or remove use or sharing of items that are not easily cleaned, sanitized or disinfected 

  3. Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible

  4. Include materials handling recommendations (Initial results of OCLC/IMLS/Battelle study of library materials as vectors for virus)

 

C. Ensure Social Distancing

  1. Install physical barriers where applicable (sneeze guards and partitions) 

  2. Change workspaces layouts to ensure staff remain at least 6’ apart

  3. Library will limit and stagger access to communal spaces (staff break rooms)

  4. Library will continue remote working options when possible and/or rotate/stagger staff shifts to limit number of employees in the workplace at the same time

  5. Library will continue holding video conferencing for all meetings

  6. Restrict all group events, meetings, and gatherings where social distancing of at least 6’ cannot be maintained

  7. The library will restrict or limit any nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving external groups or organizations

 

D. Public Access & Services

  1. The library will be limiting and consistently assessing drive through, curbside, take out services, and or delivery options to ensure that we are able to manage safety actions noted 

  2. Provide physical guides, such as tape on floors or sidewalks to ensure that customers remain at least 6’ apart in lines or ask patrons to wait in their cars or away from the library while waiting to pick up

  3. Post signs to inform customers of pick up protocols or consider installing physical barriers, such as sneeze guards and partitions

 

E. Monitoring and Preparing

  1. If a process for screening is being implemented

    1. Create screening criteria based on HR dept and CDC guidelines.

    2. Evaluate and implement a system for routine health checks upon entering the library that may consist of temperature and symptom screening of employees that is consistent with HR privacy guidelines.

    3. Identify management (per Primex) model for screening each employee before they enter the work-place. 

    4. Such plans should be clearly communicated toemployees and employees should acknowledge receipt of the information. 

    5. All employees should also wear a cloth face covering while at work and in potential close contact with others especially in shared common spaces. 

  2. Employees who are sick will be encouraged to stay at home following city sick leave policies- (Will follow HR recommendations/policy)

 

F. Plan for When an Employee Becomes Sick(Will follow HR recommendations/policy)

  1. Employees with symptoms (fever, cough, or shortness of breath) at work should be separated and sent home

  2. Notify local health officials, staff, and patrons if possible (immediately of a possible case while maintaining confidentiality) 

  3. Close off areas used by the sick person until after cleaning and disinfection. 

    1. Wait 24 hours to clean and disinfect if possible. If not, wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting

  4. Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self monitor for symptoms and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop

    1. If a person does not have symptoms, follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation.

 

G. Maintaining Healthy Operations

  1. Create and implement flexible work models where possible

  2. Check state and local health department notices daily about transmission in the area and adjust operations accordingly

  3. Be prepared to close the building for a couple of days if there is a case or outbreak of COVID-19 in the workplace or for longer if cases increase in the local area.

 

Approved by the Board of Trustees: June 23, 2020