Flora Public Library
Policy for Widespread Viral Contagion or Other Public Health Emergency
In the case of a widespread health crisis where there is concern about the spread of contagion, the library will abide by the policy detailed below. Additionally, the library will follow all recommendations from local health officials such as the Carroll County Health Department and the Indiana State Department of Health, as well as federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and the US State Department. The library will utilize a rational, measured approach to continuing service and mitigating risk, while keeping the health and safety of staff and patrons as its number one priority.
Management’s Expectations of Staff
Mitigating risk at the library should be regular practice of all staff, no matter the status of any health crisis. Staff are encouraged to wash or sanitize hands often and to provide routine environmental cleaning by frequently sanitizing heavily used, shared surfaces. Examples include the circulation desk, keyboards, mice, copy machines, telephones, and door handles.
Library employees are instructed to stay home if they exhibit any signs of acute respiratory illness or flu-like symptoms. Employees should NOT return to work until they have been free of fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medication. A note from a health care provider is not required for staff members who are using consecutive sick leave days for the purpose of recovery and isolation. Staff members who test positive for the contagion of concern, receive a quarantine order from a healthcare professional, or are caring for diagnosed or quarantined family members, and have used up all their accumulated sick leave benefits, will be handled on a case-by-case basis with input from the Library Board.
During a health crisis, there are two levels of service that may be enacted: Limited Essential Service, and Digital-Only Service.
Limited Essential Service
Limited Essential Service may be enacted when local schools close due to a widespread health crisis or the Covid Metrics Map indicates the need.
Under Limited Essential Service, social distancing and mask use is determined at the discretion of the director and library board. The library will use promotional and social media channels to communicate restrictions to the public, encouraging them to stay home and not visit the library, especially if they are ill or in a high-risk category, susceptible to illness. The library’s operating hours may be decreased, dependent upon staffing and public demand for services. The amount of time that patrons are allowed in the library may be limited at the desecration of the director.
Adults who enter with children must keep their children with them at all times during their library visit. No toys, games, puzzles, or other playthings will be available
Digital-Only Service will be enacted when there is a public mandate to do so, a staff member tests positive, the Covid Metrics Map indicates the need, or there is a known contamination in the library facility. The Covid metrics map must remain in red for a sustained two weeks before closure of the building. The library administration in partnership with the library board may enact Digital-Only Service even if the previous requirements have not been met, in order to operate in the best interests of and to ensure the safety of the staff and public.
Under Digital-Only Services the entire library will be closed to the public. The public is encouraged to use the library’s digital services. Staff will receive pay during the closure, in accordance with the emergency closing policy.
Throughout the duration of a health crisis, the library will continually refer to the latest, factual information from the Carroll County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health as well as the CDC, and US State Department. This helps ensure that the library’s response is timely and relevant to the current local conditions.
In making decisions, the library will consider the Indiana County Metrics Map (https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/2393.htm) which reports weekly updates on Covid-19 cases in each county. The map will determine in which level of service the library will operate. The library will respond to rising cases documented on the map in the following ways:
The library will operate at normal hours and offer programming with social distancing. It is recommended for all patrons to wear a mask and social distance while on library premises. The director and library board can determine if masks are mandatory. The amount of time spent in the library by patrons can be limited.
The library operates in Limited Essential Service. The library will operate at normal hours or truncated hours determined by the library director and offer programming that is limited to a max of 10 participants. The county metrics map will be closely monitored to determine if further precautions will needed to be taken. The amount of time that library patrons spend in the library can be limited by the director. Gatherings in the library outside of programming during library hours are not allowed. Masks and social distancing are recommended to be in the building. The director and library board can decide if masks will be mandatory. Small meeting rooms may be closed for public use. The number of computers available for use in the library is limited by social distancing requirements. Use of laptops may be limited.
The library may operate under digital only service. If open, the same precautions detailed in yellow will be followed. Children’s programming is suspended. The library offers curbside service through phone and email. The Richter Room will also be open for appointment only computer use. Patrons can reserve an hour-long block of time between 10 - 5, with the possibility of extending time up to one additional hour if the room is not scheduled for the following block of time. One person or a family unit of up to five members can use the room during the hour-long reservation. To reserve the room, patrons must call ahead and let staff know the time they plan to come and number of family members who will accompany them. When patrons set up an appointment, they will be asked questions to determine if they have COVID-19 symptoms. Screening questions are taken from the CDC website and used to determine if patrons are exhibiting COVID-19. Any answers that indicate they are showing symptoms will disqualify them from using the room. They will enter the room through the side door near the parking lot. They must remain in the Richter Room during their visit. If patrons need to print, they can call circ staff who will bring them their requested paperwork. The room will be cleaned in-between patron visits.
The library operates under digital only service. The library closes and offers curbside service. Patron questions are answered over the phone or through email.
If patrons enter the premise without a mask the library will provide them with a disposable mask. If patrons refuse to wear a mask or violate the restrictions iterated above the following actions will be taken:
The patron will be asked to correct their behavior, offered a mask, or reminded of our ability to offer curbside service.
If the action continues the patron will be asked to leave the library. Library staff will document this violation. The contagion policy will be provided for the patron.
After a second warning, the patron will have library privileges revoked for 1 week.
Further violations will result in a longer ban.