VPL Reopening to public

 

Villisca Public Library – COVID-19 Library Building Reopening Phased Plan*

INTRODUCTION:

COVID-19 has forced our library building to close temporarily, but it has not closed our library. Virtual services will continue, as well as in town delivery and curbside pickup, a new library offering. As we commit every day to extend those services to our community, we are thinking carefully about what a return to our physical spaces must consider and include. While we assess our environment and discuss scenarios, there are elements of that environment we do not know and cannot predict, such as when governmental orders to permit only “essential” services to continue will be lifted. We do know, however, that a return to physical spaces will not be an immediate return to a Pre-Pandemic environment. First and foremost, the health, safety, and well-being of our staff members and our patrons have guided and will continue to guide the development of these phases, and in large part will determine when we reopen our facilities.

 

This document, COVID-19 Library Building Reopening Phased Plan, responds to that reality by outlining proposed stages to reopen our facility and to reintroduce people to our physical spaces, our materials, and building-bound services with new health and safety protocols in place. Each phase’s details include proposed timelines; restrictions and extensions on services and hours. Additional assumptions include the potential for reversion to earlier phases if new infections occur and government mandates to close are reinstated. This document, therefore, will continue to be developed as we learn more and is subject to change.

Phase 1 (May 1-18, 2020)

  • All staff working in building regular hours.
  • All staff maintains health check. If sick they must stay home, and if exposed to anyone positive for Covid-19, they will self-isolate for 14 days/take test if deemed necessary.
  • Staff is present in library Tuesday-Saturday, normal hours to answer phone, process returns, prepare items for curbside service, clean and disinfect library surfaces.
  • Continue to promote services through Website/Facebook.
  • Keep Wi-Fi available for outside use.
  • Continue to practice physical distancing and sanitizing library.
  • Infection risks are still high. Supplies are limited and restocking ability is uncertain.

Summary: Library buildings remain closed to the public. Scheduled staff will continue working onsite to prepare spaces, collections, and technology for re-opening the building.

Phase 2 (May 19-June 1, 2020): 

  • Library reopens to provide access to physical materials, but with reduced hours. Other services are limited or restricted.
  • Library staff will wear and library patrons will be strongly encouraged to wear face masks.
  • Library staff will wear gloves while handling returned library materials.
  • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available in several locations within the library.
  • Library patrons will stay in front of Plexiglas barrier, and library staff will stay behind the Plexiglas barrier.
  • Library will begin to be open to the public, limited number of patrons in library at one time (12 patrons maximum)  for book check out until 1 hour before closing to allow for cleaning.
  • Newspapers and periodicals may be read at your own risk.
  • Computers will be available by appointment only and limited to 45 minutes daily. Changes may be made at the discretion of the library staff with time in between to sanitize.
  • Due to social distancing, only 4 public computers will be available at one time. NO headphones will be available for checkout.
  • Staff will be available to help make copies and send faxes.
  • Restrooms are not available to public.
  • Conference room not available to public.
  • High Risk patrons are encouraged to continue use of curbside pick-up or home delivery.
  • Physical distancing is recommended. Infection risks are still high. We have enough supplies to comply with safety recommendations for public and staff, but supply needs and availability are uncertain.

Summary: Our intention is to provide access to materials (with possible materials pickup curbside and contactless home delivery), but not to encourage extended stays or gatherings. Seating is removed from the public floor. No reservations for the meeting room are accepted. Computer access may be offered but will be limited to 4 stations. Open hours are reduced from our regular schedule to allow for materials to be sanitized and shelved and library surfaces cleaned and sanitized before the library opens to the public. While open, there is limited face-to-face staff/public interaction.

Phase 3 (June 2-July 13, 2021)

  • Library open to the public with regular hours Tuesday-Saturday  with extra precautions in place:
    • All library services are available with social distancing practices in place.
    • Limited number of patrons in library at one time (12 patrons maximum)
    • Restrooms locked, key available at front desk. Restroom cleaned by staff following each use.
    • Hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes will be available in several locations within the library.
    • Library staff will wear and library patrons will be strongly encouraged to wear face masks.
    • Library staff will wear gloves while handling returned library materials.
    • Physical distancing is still recommended, but infection risks are declining. Supply needs are predictable and supplies are plentiful.
  • High Risk patrons are encouraged to continue use of curbside pick-up or home delivery.
  • General public is discouraged from using the library as a gathering place at this time. No Keurig beverages are available.
  • Limited seating available.
  • Wednesdays and Fridays by appointment only from 5-6 for those that work and can’t make it before 5. This will allow staff to sanitize daily.
  • Saturday hours will be 9-noon to allow time for cleaning.
  • Computer time will be limited to 1 hour. Changes may be made at the discretion of the library staff with time in between to sanitize.
  • Due to social distancing, only 4 public computers will be available at one time. NO headphones will be available for checkout.
  • Conference room will not be available to public.
  • Summer Reading Program will be mix of virtual programs with “Grab ‘n Go” activities available curbside. No in-person programs at this time.
  • There may be an online book club discussion.

Summary: Some seating is re-introduced but configured to allow for physical distance. Computers are accessible at socially distant intervals. Staff is available on the service desk, but only one staff member per desk. IAShares delivery may be reintroduced.

Phase 4 (by July 14, 2021) To ensure staff safety, if a library patron ignores social-distancing protocols, the library management reserves the right to ask them to leave.(We are currently at this level of operation).

The majority of library services are reintroduced. There may be limitations on larger group gatherings for meetings and programs. Programs for children in elementary school and older may be offered, as well as adult and teen programming, and safe hygiene and physical distancing will be practiced.

Library is open with full hours to the public. We are happy to have the library used as a gathering place (24 patrons maximum). Keurig beverages available.

  • Replace all removed furniture and slow roll out of toys
  • Summer Reading Program will be in-person, with physical distancing practices in place.
  • All computers available and back to normal time limits. Headphones available for checkout.
  • Restrooms available for public use.
  • Water fountain will be available for public use after we get it restarted.
  • Conference room available for public use.
  • Physical distancing guidelines have been relaxed to allow for smaller group gatherings. Large group gatherings are still considered a risk.

Summary: Service desk is fully staffed. Device checkouts are permitted and all computers in operation. All seating areas are back on the floor.

Phase 5 (date undetermined)

 

Full Service return to “our new normal”. Roll out of Full Service is dependent on local and state assessment of risk.

·         Infection threat is considered low or non-existent or there is a vaccine.

 

Summary: Larger group gatherings of all ages for meetings or library programs are allowed in meeting spaces. After School Programs and school visits resume.

 

*** All subject to change based on current Covid-19 restrictions.**