Michigan public libraries have been closed to the public pursuant to a series of executive orders.  The Howell Carnegie District Library anticipates that those restrictions will be lifted and the Library may once again resume public library service.  The purpose of this policy is to establish the steps the Library may take and the protocols the Library may put in place to protect the Library, staff, and patrons when the Library reopens.

Resuming Library Service.

Before reopening to the public or non-essential staff, and during the term of the Reopening Plan, the Library will establish guidelines and implement the following:

  1. Cleaning Protocols.  The Library Director will establish and follow reasonable cleaning protocols, including the regular cleaning of objects and areas that are frequently used, such as bathrooms, public computers, staff lounge, meeting rooms, door handles, and railings.  This may include removing objects and material from public areas and wiping down surfaces. The cleaning protocols may change as the health and safety issues evolve or as the Library moves through the stages of reopening.
  2. Returned Material.  The Library Director will also develop a protocol for addressing returned material.  This may include quarantining returned materials for specific periods of time.
  3. Assess Needs.  The Library Director and designated staff will meet to assess the condition of the Library and the tasks that need to occur prior to opening the Library to the public.  This includes making sure the Library has the proper protection equipment such as hand sanitizer, gloves, masks or other similar equipment.
  4. Social Distancing.  The Library Director will take steps to implement social distancing protocols if required by law or the Reopening Plan.  This may include removing or rearranging chairs and computer terminals, blocking areas/furniture, installing plastic screens, marking waiting areas to show the six (6) foot spacing, or providing “traffic control” designations, such as arrows showing one-way travel in certain areas of the Library in order to maintain social distancing. The Social Distancing protocols will be established in the Reopening Plan for each stage.
  5. Notice to Patrons.  The Library Director shall post notices on the door of the Library and on the website to inform patrons of the particular regulations of patron conduct for the current stage of the Reopening Plan.

Reopening Stages.

The Library Board adopts the reopening plan attached as Exhibit A (“Reopening Plan”) to this Policy as the basic structure for the reopening stages for public library service.  The Library Director has authority to modify the Reopening Plan.  The Reopening Plan, including any modification by the Library Director, shall govern the use of the Library.  Violations of the Reopening Plan may result in suspension of library privileges.

Director’s Role; Authority.

The Library Director (or other person appointed by the Library Board) will monitor and coordinate events surrounding the reopening.  The Library Director has the authority over the following:

  1. Modifications; Reopening Stages.  The Library Director may modify in writing any services, safety protocols or other part of the Reopening Plan.  The Library Director also may determine when it is an appropriate time to move on to the next stage either in whole or in part.
  2. Staffing Levels.  The Library Director has the authority to address and determine appropriate staffing levels for each stage and whether staff can work from home or must work in-person.
  3. Cancel or Limit Services.  Even after the Library reopens and the Library Board approves a Reopening Plan, the Library Director may cancel or limit programs or services to ensure the safety and security of staff and patrons.  This includes cancelling scheduled meetings held in any Library meeting rooms.  The Library Director will use reasonable efforts to post notices of the program changes and cancellations, including posting notices at the Library building and on the Library’s website.
  4. Library Closure.  The Library Director has the authority to close the Library temporarily for a maximum of fourteen (14) days without prior Library Board approval.  The Library Director will inform the President of the Library Board of the determination to close and the proposed duration of the closure. If the Library has not been reopened, the Library Board may meet to determine whether the Library Director’s decision to close will be extended or whether the Library will be reopened before the time set forth in the Library Director’s determination. This closure may be due to a specific incident or reoccurrence of an infectious disease in the Library’s Service Area.  The Library Director will use reasonable efforts to post notices of the closure, including posting notices at the Library building and on the Library’s website.  Library staff will be compensated as referenced in the Library’s Pandemic Policy approved May 12, 2020.
  5. Consultation.  The decision to cancel or limit services, move through the stages of the Reopening Plan, close the Library, or adopt additional protocols may be based on recommendations made regarding the outbreak by the Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”), local health officials, the Library Board, Michigan Library Association, American Library Association, Livingston County Health Department or other reputable sources.

Implementation.

The Library’s Rights & Responsibilities of Users, Rules of Conduct and Progressive Discipline policy will be followed when necessary to enforce the Reopening Policy.

Applicability.

Unless specifically addressed by this Policy, this Policy is not intended to govern or regulate specific employment issues or policies involved with staff returning to work.  All existing Library policies remain in effect unless in conflict with this Policy.  In case of a conflict, this Policy shall govern.

EXHIBIT A

REOPENING PLAN

The following is the reopening plan approved by the Howell Carnegie District Library Board.  If an executive order is in effect, all elements of the executive order will be followed and the executive order take precedent if there is a conflict.  The Reopening Plan only applies if permitted by law or executive order.  This Reopening Plan is not intended to supersede or change any Library employment policies.

Requirements During All Stages.

  1. Per the CDC guidelines, patrons with an infectious illness such as the flu should not enter the Library until at least twenty-four (24) hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F or 37.8 degrees C) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  2. Patrons should not enter the Library with symptoms of an infectious disease.
  3. The Library shall provide notice on the Library doors of the patron responsibility requirements currently in effect.  The Library Director has authority to approve the requirements and notices.
  4. Any requirements for staff safety precautions will be adopted separately and the staff will be informed.
  5. The Library Director shall determine the cleaning protocols for all stages.

Stage 1.  Closed to the Public.

During this stage, the Library will be closed to the public either by executive order, by motion of the Library Board, or by the Library Director pursuant to the Reopening Policy.

  1. Employees.  Non-essential staff may return to the Library.  However, the Library Director will determine who may return and according to the schedule adopted by the Library Director.
  2. Activities Permitted:
    1. Landscaping and other outside maintenance activities may resume if permitted by executive order.
    2. Inside maintenance activities may also resume if permitted by executive order.
    3. The Library will continue providing WIFI in the parking lot areas.
    4. Continue essential functions, as defined by the Library’s Pandemic Policy.
  3. Social Distancing and Safety Protocols.
    1. The Library Director will take steps to implement social distancing protocols.
    2. The staff workspace shall be configured to maintain social distancing requirements of six (6) feet if possible.
    3. The Library will begin to implement social distancing protocols in the Library in anticipation of patrons returning which may include:
      1. Removing or rearranging chairs and tables.
      2. Assessing what computer terminals may be used.
      3. Blocking off areas/furniture.
      4. Adding plastic screens.
      5. Mark waiting areas to show the six (6) foot spacing.
      6. Provide “traffic control” designations, such as arrows showing one-way travel in certain areas of the Library in order to maintain social distancing.
  4. Hours of Operation.  The Library will not have any public hours of operation.

Stage 2.   Staff Returning; Patron In-Person Services Still Suspended.

  1. Employees.  All staff are permitted to return to work according to the schedule adopted by the Library Director.
  2. Activities Permitted:
    1. Updating collections.
    2. Updating patron databases.
    3. Shelving books and shelf reading.
    4. Transferring materials to Library databases to the extent they were stored separately while at home.
    5. Answer phones and respond to patrons’ reference questions.
    6. Review upcoming programs that may need to be cancelled or modified and review any contracts related to such programs.
    7. Resume the interlibrary loan process/MelCat (if practical or possible).
    8. Assess whether the Library has adequate masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer to serve the public and staff.
  3. Social Distancing and Safety Protocols.   The protocols for Stage 1 will remain in place.
  4. Hours of Operation.  The Library will not have any public hours of operation.

Stage 3:  Curbside Pick Up and Limited Patron Services. Library Building Still Closed to the Public.

  1. Employees.  All staff are permitted to return to work according to the schedule adopted by the Library Director.
  2. Activities Permitted.  In addition to previously authorized activities, the Library may include the following activities
    1. Curbside pickup is permitted.  Materials available for check out may be limited.
    2. Patrons are permitted to return Library materials.  The Library Director will establish the protocols for returned material.
    3. The Library will address any policy or temporary measures involving fee forgiveness or suspension.
  3. Social Distancing and Safety Protocols.  The protocols for Stage 1 will remain in place.  In addition:
    1. Patrons and staff must remain six (6) feet apart, and the library must design curbside pickup to maintain this distance.
    2. Patrons are required to wear a mask when engaging in curbside pickup.
    3. The Library shall mark waiting areas for cars and other curbside pickup issues.
    4. The Library will create signage informing patrons of the Library’s practices and precautions to prevent infection during a particular stage.
    5. The Library Director will establish cleaning and sanitizing protocols for “high touch” areas or surfaces.
    6. The Library will train employees on appropriate cleaning procedures, including training staff on cleaning between patrons
    7. If required by Executive Order, the Library will notify employees if it learns that an individual (including a patron or vendor) with a confirmed case of Covid-19 has visited the library.
    8. The Library will limit staffing to the minimum number necessary to operate.
  4. Hours of Operation.  The Library Board establishes the following as the hours for curbside pickup, but this may be modified by the Library Director:
    Monday – Thursday 4:00-8:00 pm
    Friday – Saturday 10:00 am -12:00 pm (Noon)

Stage 4:  Limited Assess – Circulation Rotunda area and Pickup Lockers

  1. Employees.  All staff are permitted to return to work according to the schedule adopted by the Library Director.
  2. Activities Permitted.  In addition to previously authorized activities, the Library may include the following activities:
    1. Patrons may enter the Library but will be limited to a specific area in the Library.
    2. Patrons may have in-person conversations with Library staff, provided that social distancing and Safety Protocols are followed.
    3. The Library may have access to computers for research or to look up and request library material
  3. Social Distancing, Occupancy, Patron Traffic  and Safety Protocols.  The protocols for the prior stages will remain in place.  In addition,
    1. MASKS: The Library will request patrons to wear masks incompliance with any Executive Orders; the Library will provide masks if supplies are available.
    2. SOCIAL DISTANCING: Patrons must stay six (6) feet away from all staff and other patrons.  Social distancing rules apply.  The Library will provide a physical barrier for in-person discussions, which may include barriers, tape markers, or tables as appropriate.  The Library will establish lines to regulate entry, ( in accordance with Section 4 below), with markings for patrons to enable them to stand at least six (6) feet apart from one another while waiting.  The Library Director should also explore alternatives to lines, including allowing patrons to wait in their cars for a text message or phone call, to enable social distancing and to accommodate seniors and those with disabilities.
    3. TRAFFIC DIRECTIONS: The Library will mark places where people are likely to gather in line to identify the proper social distancing.  This includes “traffic.”  The Library will design the spaces and marking to encourage people in the Library to maintain six (6) feet distance.
    4. OCCUPANCY: Only the number of people (including employees) equal to 25% of the total occupancy limits established by the State or Local Fire Marshall will be permitted in the Library at a time, and all others must wait outside the Library.
    5. LIMIT GROUPS: Patrons will use their best efforts to come to the Library with the least number of people.
    6. COMPUTER TERMINALS: Computer terminals will be located six (6) feet from any other computer or work station.  The Library will use its best efforts to clean computer terminals between uses.
    7. FOOD AND BEVERAGE: Food and beverage is not permitted unless necessary for medical reasons.
    8. SIGNAGE: The Library shall create a sign to inform patrons of the following:
      1. The Library practices during a particular stage and the precautions the Library is taking to prevent infection.
      2. Instructing patrons of their obligation to wear a mask when inside the Library.
      3. Informing patrons not to enter if they are or have recently been sick
    9. TRAINING: In addition to training required by previous EO’s, the Library shall train employees regarding how to manage symptomatic patrons upon entry or in the Library.
    10. Hours of Operation.  The Library Board establishes the following as the hours but this may be modified by the Library Director:  [To Be Determined]

Stage 5:  Library Open to Public with Conditions.

  1. Employees. All staff are permitted to return to work according to the schedule adopted by the Library Director.
  2. Activities Permitted.  In addition to previously authorized activities, the Library may open for additional activities:
    1. Programming that is in-person.
    2. Meeting room use for Library only sponsored events.
    3. The computers will be open for public use.  All computer terminals will be located six (6) feet apart.  The Library Director may suspend service on any computers that cannot be relocated to a safe distance.
    4. The Library Director may open up additional parts the library building for public use.
  3. Social Distancing and Safety Protocols.  The protocols for the prior stages will remain in place.
  4. Hours of Operation.  The Library Board establishes the following as the hours but this may be modified by the Library Director:

Monday – Thursday 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday – Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sundays (September – May) 12:00 -4:00 pm

Stage 6:  Library Open for Regular Business.

At this stage, the Library can reopen with the same services as normal.  All Library service can resume without restrictions.