Infectious Disease - Library Reopening Policy

Infectious Disease - Library Reopening Policy
Maud Preston Palenske Memorial Library

I. Purpose.  Michigan public libraries have been closed to the public pursuant to a series of executive orders.  The Library anticipates that those restrictions will be lifted and the Library may once again resume public library service.  This Policy establishes 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. 

II. Resuming Library Service.  Before reopening to the public or non-essential staff, and during the term of the Reopening Plan, the Library will establish regulations and implement the following:

A. 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, breakrooms, conference 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.

B. 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. 

C. Assess Needs.  The Library Director and Department heads 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.

D. 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.

E. 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.

III. 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.  Pursuant to Section IV, 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.

IV. 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:

A. 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. 

B. 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.

C. 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 and on the Library’s website.

D. Library Closure. The Library will not automatically close or delay opening based on any other institution’s actions. 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 determination to close and the proposed duration of the closure. If the Library Director is unavailable, the senior librarian on staff will make the decision after conferring with the Board President or another Board Officer if the Board President is unavailable. 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 and on the Library’s website.  This Policy assumes the staff will be paid based on their “normal” schedule during the Library’s closure under this paragraph.

E. 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, or other reputable sources.

V. Enforcement.  Patrons may not enter the Library or may be required to leave if they are not in compliance with any safety protocols or requirements in the Policy, Reopening Plan, or any condition or modification established in writing by the Library Director pursuant to this Policy.  Only the Library Director or his/her designee has the authority to suspend or limit privileges pursuant to this Policy.  If any patron receives a warning or has privileges suspended or limited, the Library shall fill out an incident report and shall provide written notice of the violation when possible.  If the Library does not have the ability to provide written notice, the Incident Report shall identify when verbal notice was provided.  The Library may provide additional suspension periods for subsequent violations of the same rule or requirement.

VI. Right of Appeal.  Patrons may appeal a decision to remove a patron or deny entry to the Library by sending a written appeal to the Library Board within ten (10) business days after the date the privileges were revoked, denied or limited.  The appeal must be sent to the President of the Library Board.  The decision of the Library Board is final.

VII. 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.