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COVID-19: Sample Procedures/Policies

Information about Connecticut library responses to the coronavirus, as well as links to other COVID-19 sites for libraries and Connecticut.

Examples of Reopening Plans from Libraries Across the Country

The REALM project is collecting, curating and sharing information and resources produced by other organizations that support plans to resume operations and reopen archives, libraries, and museums. A first collection of examples listed below, and organized under topics commonly addressed in reopening plans. While the documents may reflect specific, local guidance, they may still provide important considerations for organization in other locations. Inclusion in this list does not represent an endorsement by the REALM Project.

Click to jump to the covered sections: Staff and patrons | Facilities and space considerations | Programs and service adaptations | Materials handling and procedures

Examples of Policies and Procedures from Connecticut Libraries

Children's Room access, Milford Public Library:

We are limiting the number of people in our Children’s Department to a total of 15 at a time. Our welcome poster does indicate the limitations to our visitors and asks that they please keep their visits brief as a courtesy to other families who may be waiting.

We have a “greeter” at the door who keeps tabs. This week, we never had more than 11 people in at one time, so it was ok. If we were to reach a critical mass, our plan is to take their name and invite them to visit the adult dept upstairs while they wait. When space opens up, we will walkie-talkie upstairs to have them make an announcement (“Lisa A.- the children’s dept is waiting to welcome you!”). Kind of like the host station at a restaurant. Or we can take their cell # if they want to go to the park behind the building or just wait outside.

Curbside Delivery Procedure from Bloomfield Public Library, director Elizabeth Lane:

Here are the internal procedures around the curbside delivery service. My advice to directors who want to move forward with this is to have staff research and come up with solutions that make them feel the most comfortable when handling incoming materials. I have included one resource that we found helpful at the bottom.

  • We will continue to offer curbside service. The only direction we are sharing with the public about this service is to call us for details. This allows us to change the service as needed.
    • Internally, we will deliver curbside materials 30 minutes after opening until close. Staff can modify this as needed. If they do not feel comfortable delivering materials, they do not need to.
    • Ask curbside patrons for make/model/color of car, license plate number, and preferred time of pickup.
    • Instruct curbside patrons to arrive on time and stay in their car. When we confirm their car from inside, we will place their materials on a cart that is located directly outside the entrance doors. After the materials are placed on the cart and staff are back in the building, they are invited to retrieve the materials. Make sure this is understood when speaking with patrons on the telephone.
    • Material will be delivered in bags.
  • While the current mandate is in reference to social distancing, we will take extra precautions with materials being returned via the book drop and our delivery services.
    • Each day, a staff member with gloves and a mask will put all incoming materials from the book drop on a book cart and label the cart with the date and time that this task was completed. 
    • Materials arriving via delivery service will be labeled with the date and time of delivery.
    • After 72 hours, a staff member with gloves and a mask will use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all materials with TWIN POWER™ #7 Healthcare Neutral Disinfectant Cleaner in increments of time not to exceed 15 minutes.

IMLS webinar: Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections. The transcript is also available.

Curbside Delivery Procedure from Scoville Memorial Library in Salisbury, also used by Windsor Public Library: 

We have a location outside our front door where we place items labeled with the patron's name. Pickups are scheduled in 15 minute intervals via phone or email. We have accepted returns all along. We quarantine for 72 hours and wipe down book jackets, cases and dvds and cds.

Contactless Pickup Procedure from Blackstone Library in Branford

Order items beginning Monday, May 18, at 9 am. To order items for pickup, you must have a library card. If you are a Branford resident and need a card, click here. You will receive a temporary number to include in your hold request.

To place a request for items for pickup you may:

  • place holds on items via the online catalog 
  • email your request to holds@blackstonelibrary.org; or
  • call 203-488-1441 ext. 315.

Please note:

  • there is a limit of 10 items per week per card
  • items requested MUST be owned by Blackstone Library
  • include your name and library card number in your email request, plus the titles you want, desired format (large print, audiobook, DVD, etc), and author, if possible

Once we fill your hold request, you will be contacted by a staff member with a time slot for pickup.

Pickup begins Wednesday, May 20. We will offer pickup windows throughout each day, including evenings and Saturdays. You may request a specific day or window, but availability for each slot will be limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The pickup windows we offer may change, depending on demand. Please check the website for the latest updates to our offered services.

Pickup windows

  • Monday-Thursday: 10 am–12 pm  /  2 pm–4 pm  /  5 pm–7 pm
  • Friday-Saturday: 10 am–12 pm  /  2 pm–4 pm

How to pick up materials

  • When it's time to pick up your materials, come to the rear entrance of the library.
  • Your items will be placed in a paper bag labeled with your last name, and placed on a table in the entry vestibule. 
  • Doors will be propped open, and entry door will be marked (traffic in vestibule will be one way).
  • Please wear a face covering when picking up items and observe all posted signs.
  • Wait until vestibule is empty, then enter, take your bag, and exit.
  • If vestibule is NOT empty, please wait your turn, leaving at least 6 feet of space between you and other people.

During your pickup, staff will remain inside the building. If you have questions, please call or email. Please do not try to access the building—the Blackstone Library remains closed to the public to ensure everyone's safety. If you see a staff member through the window, please do feel free to wave hi. We will be thrilled to see you!

How to return materials

  • All items must be returned in the outside book drop slots, near the staff entrance.
  • Staff will not be allowed to accept any items in person.

Safety Information
Staff members are taking all possible precautions while working inside the building to fulfill your item requests. We are wearing masks and gloves, and are working in zones, so as not to overlap each other.

Items that are returned are placed in quarantine for 3 days. After 3 days, the covers are wiped down with disinfectant and the items are returned to the shelves.

If you have any questions or concerns, please email us or call 203-488-1441 ext. 315. We look forward to providing our community with materials again, and are committed to doing so responsibly.

Reopening Announcements

Cheshire Public Library's reopening video

Ledyard Public Library's reopening video

Deep River Public Library's videos on Facebook:

Sample Policies and Graphics

Masks

Brookfield: We are amending our existing patron behavior policy to include that the staff has the right to enforce current health department guidelines/rules/laws (this way it could apply to other things in the future).

Free downloadable mask images from Hafuboti:

My mask protects my community

Mask poster from Maggie Rudy:

cute animals wearing masks to protect their friends

From Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury:

poster with instructions for Silas Broson Library takeout service

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