COVID-19 LIBRARY REOPENING SAFETY PLAN
COVID-19 has forced our library buildings to close temporarily, but it has not closed our library. Virtual services continue, developed and provided through the talents and creativity of the library’s extraordinary staff. 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. 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 stages and in large part will determine when and how we reopen our facilities.
This COVID-19 Library Reopening Safety Plan responds to that reality by outlining proposed stages to reopen our facilities and to reintroduce services to our patrons with new health and safety protocols in place. There will be waiting periods in-between the stages of this Plan to monitor the effect. Additional assumptions include the potential for revision to this Plan, which can change at any time, for example, if new infections occur and government mandates or restrictions are reinstated. We will continue to develop this Plan as we learn more, and it is subject to change.
Stage 0 PREPARATION
A. PREPARATION – SET UP / JUNE 1-5, 2020 (2 staff members in each building June 3-5, no public)
- The cleaning company will prepare both buildings, June 1-3.
- Notify vendors that we are accepting delivery.
- Confirm that HVAC systems are clean and functioning safely.
- Check building infrastructure in general: electrical, plumbing, etc.
- Verify that technology is working correctly; contact the IT department if needed.
- Develop social-distancing practices for staff and library users for curbside pickup.
- Prepare and post signage and tape off all designated areas (with 6 feet markers).
- Design traffic flow for public access for book drop and later for curbside pickup.
- Redesign staff areas for proper social distancing (6 feet).
- Begin to redesign all areas of the libraries for social distancing.
B. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / STAFF
- Two staff members (TBD) will be assigned to work in each building 9:30am-4pm, June 3-5.
- Staff who enter the library must wear masks and gloves (gloves indoors are optional for staff) during working hours and maintain proper social distancing. Library staff will be supplied with and trained on the use of PPE and its proper disposal.
- Staff will maintain proper social distancing when entering and exiting the buildings.
- All staff members must wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds. Staff will be provided with a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available.
- If a staff member is working outside the building (putting signs up, marking 6 ft. distance, setting up the tent, etc.) he/she must wear a mask and gloves. After working outside, gloves must be properly disposed of and hands must be washed.
- Staff must not use the kitchen to congregate. Sharing food/beverages is prohibited. Staff may eat at other isolated locations in the library, which they have to sanitize.
- There must be NO contact with the public. Smoke breaks outside the building are discouraged.
- Staff are encouraged to keep windows in the building open for ventilation, when it is possible.
- During the day, staff members should wipe high-touch surfaces and at the end of each desk shift, staff members should wipe down hard surfaces.
- Staff must use personal phone headsets.
- Work stations and bathrooms will be assigned.
C. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / SCREENING AND TESTING
- Mandatory self temperature checks will be implemented. Staff members must initial the health record every working day (temperature will not be recorded). If a staff member has a temperature of 100.4°F or higher they must go home and notify HR and the Library Director to schedule a backup staff member.
- If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the staff member must notify the Town HR, complete a 14-day self-quarantine, and adhere to the instructions of the Town HR and their health provider. If a staff member has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is symptomatic, the staff member must notify the Town HR, complete a 14-day self-quarantine, and adhere to the instructions of the Town HR and their health provider.
- If a staff member has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time AND is NOT symptomatic, the staff member must notify the Town HR and adhere to the instructions of the Town HR and their health provider.
D. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / DELIVERIES (e.g. newspapers, USPS, FedEx, UPS)
- We will require companies to do contactless delivery, where boxes are left outside the building.
- Designated areas for pickups and deliveries for both buildings will be outside the entrance doors. Signage will be placed. Staff will be provided with hand trucks for bringing in deliveries.
- All delivered materials will be quarantined for 24 hours. Storage areas for delivered materials: HAR – Learning Center, HWE – Mystery.
- Signing for delivery – Staff will no longer need to sign for UPS Signature Required deliveries
THESE SAFETY PRACTICES ARE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING SOURCES:
Stage 1 LIMITED SERVICES
A. LIMITED SERVICES – BOOK DROP / JUNE 8-12, 2020
- All items must be returned in the designated book drops at each location.
- Book drops will only be open 10am – 3pm.
- Book drops will be unavailable to the public for a short period of time whenever a staff member has to empty them. The area surrounding a book drop will be inaccessible to the public for safety reasons.
- The book drop cart will be wheeled into the designated return quarantine area (Community Room at HAR, Large Print Area at HWE). Returned items will be placed onto the tables and book carts designated for that day and the items will be labeled with the date and time of their return.
- Items will remain in quarantine for three full days after the day and time they were returned before returning to circulation (i.e. a minimum of 72 hours).
- The book drop cart handle will be cleaned with the CDC-approved cleaners and wheeled back to the book drop receptacle.
- At the end of the day, the cart will be emptied and will remain in the building to be sanitized by the cleaning crew. The cleaning company personnel will be responsible for maintaining a cleaning log. The Halperin Building log will be kept behind the Service Desk. The West Harrison Branch log will be kept on the shelf under the Service Desk.
- No returns will be checked in until curbside pickup begins. When curbside begins, items will be checked in fine-free.
B. LIMITED SERVICES – BOOK DROP / STAFF
- Two staff members will be assigned to work in each building 9:30am-4pm.
- All material emptied from the book drop should be handled wearing gloves. Safety protocols will apply. See above stage 0.
- A staff member who is working outside can retreat to the safety of the building if a patron does not follow safety protocols for the contactless book drop procedure.
- Staff will continue to prepare social-distancing practices for curbside pickup.
- Staff will perform collection maintenance: weeding, shifting, shelving.
THESE SAFETY PRACTICES ARE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING SOURCE:
Stage 2 CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP
A. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – STARTING JUNE 15
- The book drop hours will expand to match curbside hours.
- Halperin Building
- Monday: 10:00am – 8:30pm
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10:00am – 5:00pm
- Saturday: 10:00am – 12:00pm
- West Harrison
- Monday: 1:00pm – 6:30pm
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday: 11:00am – 4:30pm
- Halperin Building
- We will not be charging fines during the curbside pickup stage.
- There will be no in-person assistance for patrons; patrons must call or email.
- Patrons can reserve items by phone or the public catalog.
- Staff will have 24 hours to find the items, check them out to the patron, bag them, and staple the checkout receipt to the bag.
- Staff will call (preferably) or email the patron to schedule a time for pickup.
- Staff will consult our pickup schedule on the hour and leave bags to be picked up on a table underneath a tent outside the library entrance (on the lower level at West Harrison). Staff will be monitoring the table. No more than two patrons will be scheduled during each 15-minute interval. We will be flexible. A staff member will be available for phone calls regarding changes to the pickup schedule.
B. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – RESERVING ITEMS
- Patrons may only reserve Harrison and West Harrison items.
- Initially there will be a limit of 10 items per card.
C. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – PULLING HOLDS
- When patrons reserve items by phone, if we are able to pull the items on the spot, we can also set up a pickup time. Otherwise, staff will pull the holds within 24 hours and call the patron (or email if necessary) to schedule a pickup time.
- After pulling the holds, staff will check out the items to the patron.
- After checking out the items, staff will bag the items, staple the receipt with the patron’s name to the bag, and call the patron (or email as a last resort) to schedule a pickup time; our schedule will be an online calendar and no more than two pickups will be allowed during any 15-minute period.
D. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – PATRONS’ PICKUP
- On the hour, staff will consult the pickup schedule and place bags outside on a table underneath a tent in the parking lot (on the lower level at West Harrison).
- Six-foot distances from the entrance and tent will be marked off for social distancing.
- The parking lot will be blocked off to traffic in front of the tent to avoid any safety hazards.
- Signs will be placed outside the building explaining the pickup process and noting that staff cannot offer any assistance in person.
- Staff will avoid contact with patrons and keep at least 6 feet away from patrons when they are placing bags outside for pickup.
E. CONTACTLESS CURBSIDE PICKUP – STAFFING
- We will start with four staff members at the Halperin Building and three at West Harrison.
- Staff assigned to work at the buildings will be scheduled as follows:
- Halperin Building
- Monday & Wednesday: 9:30am – 9:00pm
- Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (June) 9:30am – 5:30pm
- West Harrison
- Monday & Wednesday: 12:30pm – 7:00pm
- Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 10:30am – 5:00pm
- Halperin Building
- Staff members who are not scheduled to work on these two services (book drop and curbside pickup) will work remotely.
- The entrance camera monitors will be brought upstairs for easier access by staff.
- A staff member who is working outside can retreat to the safety of the building if a patron does not follow safety protocols for the contactless curbside pickup procedure.
- Preparations for the next stage begin.
- Working on the public policy(s) begins.
- Develop/offer staff training
- Dealing with difficult situations
- Dealing with emotional trauma
Stage 3 PATRONS IN THE BUILDING WITH STRICT HEADCOUNT (BROWSE BY APPOINTMENT)
PLEASE NOTE: Due to a rise in cases of COVID-19, the library will suspend in-person visits until further notice.
The majority of library services are slowly reintroduced. WLS delivery restarts. The number of people allowed within the building will depend on the ability to maintain social distance guidelines and the number of people within the facility. Only 40 patrons will be allowed in the Halperin Building and 20 in the West Harrison Branch at any one time. Patrons must make an appointment online, by calling the library or at the door. Each visit is limited to 45 minutes.
The library’s amended Code of Conduct states that anyone who does not abide by this safety plan may be asked to leave the library. There will be no in-person programs. Virtual programming will continue. Seven study areas around the perimeter of the library will be available by appointment (1 person at the table, 1 appointment per day up to 1 hour & 45 min). The cleaning company will be cleaning and sanitizing both buildings every night and during the day.
Stage 3 PREPARATION
A. PREPARATION – SET UP
- Finalize the number of patrons allowed in each building at any one time: 40 at the Halperin building (14 people in the Children’s Discovery Center, 4 people in the computer area, 7 people in study spaces around the perimeter, 15 people in stacks), 20 (1 person in the computer area, 9 people in stacks on the first floor, 10 people in the Children’s room) at the West Harrison Branch.
- Prepare and post entrance/exit signage/directions (with 6 feet markers).
- Prepare a list of responsibilities for staff who will be monitoring the entrance as the entrance monitor.
- Redesign all areas of the libraries for social distancing by modifying layouts and reducing bi-directional foot traffic.
- Provide a minimum seating arrangement to discourage lingering in the buildings.
- Remove/cover computers and toys from the Children’s rooms.
- Reposition public computers in the adult section to insure 6 feet distance.
- Install protective shields at service desks.
- Set up computer cleaning stations with directions for the public on how to clean keyboards and mice.
- Prepare computer sign-up procedure ( 1 appointment per day/45 minute limit).
- Prepare study area sign-up procedure (1 appointment per day/1 hour 45 minute limit).
- Install WiFi access points for the Reading Garden.
- Advertise fine amnesty and fine-free circulation. In the meantime investigate and implement contactless payment.
- Set up an online reservation form and Town questionnaire for browsing by appointment.
Stage 3 BUILDINGS
- Signage including the status of the library’s hours and services will be displayed for patrons who may visit the building and find it closed.
- The library will provide a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol for areas where handwashing facilities may not be available or practical.
- Restrooms will be open to the patrons who are currently in the building. Additional garbage cans will be placed near the restroom entrances for disposal of soiled items, including PPE.
- The meeting rooms, Teen Lounge and study carrels will be closed to the public.
- The library will keep windows open where possible for better ventilation.
- Water fountains will not be available to the public.
- Furniture will be moved or removed to encourage social distancing.
- Signage will be posted in public areas to encourage good handwashing and social distancing and PPE best practices.
- Set up a table with supplies (e.g. scrap paper, pencils, etc.) for the public in both buildings.
- Markers and signage will be put in place to encourage social distancing while waiting for library services.
- Markers and signage will be put in place to encourage one-way foot traffic in the buildings.
B. PREPARATION – SAFETY PROTOCOLS / SCREENING AND TESTING / STAFF
- See Stages 0-2.
- Advise staff to limit each interaction to fewer than 10 minutes.
- Staff will disinfect surfaces often during the day.
- Install sneeze guards at the service desks.
- The library will offer online computer help sessions, however staff will be unavailable to provide in-house computer assistance.
- A staff member will be assigned daily to monitor the entrance to the building.
Stage 3 PATRONS
- The curbside service will be continued.
- Patrons can browse the library by appointment only. Patrons may schedule appointments online, by calling the library or at the door.
- Before entering the library, patrons must fill out a mandatory questionnaire issued by the Town. The questionnaire will be available online when scheduling an appointment. A paper version will be available for patrons who schedule appointments at the door.
- Use website, social media, verbal communication, and signs to notify patrons of the following:
- Patrons over the age of two must wear a face mask at all times.
- the number of people allowed in the buildings
- the online reservation form and questionnaire for browsing in the library by appointment
- no lingering in the buildings
- cleaning/disinfecting procedures, hand sanitizer stations, additional receptacles around the buildings for disposal of soiled items, including PPE
- the option to receive emailed receipts
- The e-printing option
- In-house public computer usage rules
- continuing online programming and services
- Food and uncapped drinks will not be allowed.
- In the event that a patron has a disability which makes it difficult for the patron to comply with some aspect of this policy please call Library Director Galina Chernykh at 914-835-0324, ext. 6, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to explore a reasonable accommodation.
Stage 3 PATRONS / RETURNS, CIRCULATION AND BROWSING
- The library will accept returned materials from patrons through the library book drops. Book drops at both buildings will be open 24/7.
- Returned materials will be quarantined for 24 hours.
- WLS delivery restarts.
- Regular holds procedures will resume.
- Standard borrowing policies will apply to normal checkouts from the building and curbside.
- Book carts will be placed throughout the library with signage instructing patrons not to reshelve books and to place the items they have handled on the carts.
- Museum passes for museums that are open will be circulating. All passes must be laminated. All passes must be returned to staff at the front door of the Halperin Building.
- Magazines will continue to circulate, but there will be no designated reading spaces in the buildings. Newspapers will be available for patrons to read inside or outside of the libraries.
Stage 3 PATRONS / IN-PERSON AND CURBSIDE HOURS
The Halperin Building in-person and curbside hours:
- Mondays: 10 am – 8:30 pm
- Tuesdays, Wednesday, Thursdays, and Fridays: 10 am – 5 pm
The Halperin Building in-person visits only:
- Saturday: 10 am – 5 pm
The Halperin Building curbside only:
- Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
West Harrison Branch in-person hours:
- Mondays and Thursdays: 10 am – 2 pm
- Tuesdays and Fridays: 3 pm – 5 pm
West Harrison Branch curbside hours:
- Mondays and Thursdays: 3 pm – 5 pm
- Tuesdays and Fridays 10 am – 2 pm
West Harrison Branch in-person only hours:
- Wednesdays: 12 pm – 7 pm
The West Harrison Branch will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays
West Harrison Branch staff members will be working at the Halperin Building Saturdays on a rotating basis.
Stage 3 PATRONS / MEETING ROOMS, TEEN LOUNGE, STUDY CARRELS AND TUTORING
- Meeting rooms will not be available to the public.
- Teen Lounge will not be available to the public.
- Study carrels will not be available to the public.
- No group meetings or tutoring will be allowed at this time.
Stage 3 PATRONS / PROGRAMMING
- No in-person programming in the building.
- Online programming will continue.
- Outside programming could be possible depending on weather conditions.
Stage 3 GOVERNANCE AND BOARD OPERATIONS
- In-person Library Board of Trustees meetings and business could possibly resume if guidelines and space availability permit the group, as well as possible public visitors, to observe social distancing during the meetings.
Stage 4 EASING RESTRICTIONS
We aspire to have as normal a library experience as possible for our patrons and staff
- 2021 Fall schedule:
HAR – Resume regular 9:30 am schedule, resume 2 late nights’ schedule, resume Sundays schedule (September 12-December 18)
HWE – Resume 2 late nights’ schedule. HWE will be closed on Saturdays/Sundays. Full-time staff members will be on HAR Saturdays rotation.
- Public programming:
Continue children’s programs outside (September/October, if the weather permits)
Slowly resume adults/teens in-person programs in the Community Room (Limited to 20 people)
Continue Zoom programs for all ages
Resume Friday’s Japanese ESL classes (limited to 15 students) in the Community Room
- Study rooms:
Conference & Study Rooms will not be available to the public at this time
- Public computers:
No computers in Children’s Rooms
Masks will be required for staff and the public until further notice.
Starting June 1st appointments and contact tracing forms are no longer required to enter the library.
The following changes will be made at both the Halperin Building and West Harrison Branch:
Our June schedule for both buildings will be:
- Monday: 10 AM – 9 PM
- Tuesday to Saturday: 10 AM – 5:30 PM
- Sunday: Closed
West Harrison Branch
- Monday/Tuesday: 10 AM – 5 PM
- Wednesday: 12 PM – 7 PM
- Thursday/Friday: 10 AM – 5 PM
- Saturday/Sunday: Closed
While we are easing restrictions on entering the building, we ask that patrons continue to wear masks while inside the library.
In the event that a patron has a disability which makes it difficult for the patron to comply with some aspect of this policy, please call Library Director, Galina Chernykh, at 914-835-0324, ext. 6, or email her to explore a reasonable accommodation.
Returns will be accepted in both our book drop and in the library building. Returned materials will not be quarantined.
Curbside pickup will continue for immunocompromised members of our community. We ask that all others come into the library to pick up your items.
Fines on overdue items will be forgiven.
Limited seating arrangements will be reintroduced at both buildings.
Six public computers will be available at the Halperin Building and two at the West Harrison Branch.
Seven study areas around the perimeter of the Halperin Building and study carrels in the back of the building will be available. Four study areas at the West Harrison Branch will be available to the public.
Virtual programming will continue. Outdoor programs will be offered if the weather permits.
The Community Room will be re-open for art exhibits.
The meeting rooms, Learning Center and Teen Lounge will be closed to the public.
Food and uncapped drinks will not be allowed.
The cleaning company will be cleaning and sanitizing both buildings every night and during the day.
The Code of Conduct Policy Amendment:
The Harrison Public Library is committed to the health and safety of its staff and patrons. The Library Board of Trustees has adopted a COVID-19 Safety Plan which is posted on our website. Anyone who does not abide by the COVID-19 Safety Plan and the posted safety protocols may be asked to leave the Library.
THESE SAFETY PRACTICES ARE BASED ON THE FOLLOWING SOURCES:
How COVID-19 Spreads, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-ick/how-covid-preads.html
Using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/using-ppe.html
Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) – How does the virus last on surfaces, World Health Organization https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
3.5 Disinfecting Books and Other Collections, Northeast Document Conservation Center https://www.nedcc.org/free-resources/preservation-leaflets/3.-emergency-management/3.5-disinfecting-books
Guidance for Keeping Your Dell Technologies Equipment Clean, Dell Technologies https://www.dell.com/support/article/en-us/sln308919/guidance-for-keeping-your-dell-technologies-equipment-clean?lang=en
List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2, United States Environmental Projection Agency https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-ars-cov-2
NY Forward Business Reopening Safety Plan Template, New York State Department of Health https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/governor.ny.gov/files/atoms/files/NYS_BusinessReopeningSafetyPlanTemplate.pdfInterim Guidance for Essential & Phase II Retail Business Activities During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency, New York State Department of Health https://midhudson.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/RetailMasterGuidance.pdf
Approved by the Harrison Public Library Board of Trustees, 6/4/2020, Revised: 9/2/2020, 10/14/20, 11/2/20, 12/2/20, 6/1/21.