Vassalboro Public Library Covid-19 Policies
June 2020 (revised December 2020)
Objective: To resume operations in a way that helps mitigate health risks to staff, patrons and volunteers while also providing appropriate levels of services to the public. Any patron who does not abide by the following guidelines may be asked to leave the library.
Stage 1 Service Level: Curbside requests: circulation of books, audiobooks, and DVDs by library member request and pickup (no browsing or in-library self-selection).
1. Patrons will be encouraged to call or email us with requests.
2. Staff will handle books with a mask and wipe-down the items with 70% Alcohol before putting in a bag and leaving outside on a bookshelf or stool. Library members will return books via book-drop.
3. Returned items will be sorted and left in the entryway for at least 96 hours, and returned into our system after quarantine and being disinfected.
Stage 2 Service Level (June): Limited Opening.
1. Patrons may enter the library to browse the stacks and select materials. There is a 30-minute time limit for browsing of materials. No more than five people in library at one time (does not include staff or volunteers). There will be a sign on the door to help limit capacity. Only one family of children ages six and under allowed at a time.
2. Patrons are required to wear masks and sanitize or wash hands when entering the library. Staff will wear masks at all times when interacting with the public and inside the library premises.
3. Handling Returned Items:
a. All returns placed in the book drop or in the bookcase in the entryway. Materials will be sorted by staff and will wait in quarantine for 96 hours before check-in.
b. Materials will be handled with clean sanitized hands or gloves.
c. All book covers, disc boxes, and discs will be wiped down with sanitizer prior to checking in.
4. When patrons browse for materials they MUST NOT return books onto the shelf that they have touched. We ask everyone to only touch what he or she plans to take home. Signs will encourage patrons to bring all materials they have touched to the circulation desk or a designated bookshelf. These items will be quarantined for 96 hours.
5. Computer use is limited to 30 minutes. Please inform staff if you need to print or need help on the computer. Sanitize hands before using the computer. Computer use for entertainment or social media purposes is discouraged until further notice and is limited to 30 minutes.
Computer use can be extended per staff discretion for 2 hours only if our library capacity limits (5 people) are continuously met and that patron is using our computers for legitimate reasons: home or job search, taxes, education, research, etc. Patrons who use our computers for longer than 30 minutes may be asked to leave if we need to accommodate waiting patrons.
6. Only one person or family group in the book-sale room at a time. Everyone must wear a mask and sanitize hands. We also encourage all people to wear gloves (provided) in the book-sale room because books may need to be shifted. Please bring exact change or small bills.
3 Service Level:
Programming may resume in accordance with the state guidelines to restrict
gatherings to fewer than 50 people. Our goal will be to create as much space
between attendees as possible, for all programs to require pre-registration,
and as often as possible be held outdoors. There are no plans for in-person programs until the pandemic numbers have decreased significantly.
Stage 4 Service Levels: Pre-COVID-19 operations levels, TBD by State of Maine.
Building Re-Opening Plans:
1. Library space changes to accommodate continued social distancing:
a. Plexiglass at circulation desk to minimize potential aerosol transmission around the circulation desk.
b. Establish six-foot safety zones around the circulation desk.
c. Signage around the library will provide reference points for handled materials, and in-person limitations in certain areas – book-sale room, computer areas and bathrooms.
d. Maintain regular deep clean one day a week by a professional local cleaner.
2. Staff health and safety plans:
a. Establish cleaning routine for immediately following use of patron PCs, upon receipt of checkout items, doorknobs, and bathrooms (exit clean).
b. One staff member will work the circulation desk while the other stays in the office. Circulation staff will regularly clean and disinfect high touch surfaces as well as maintain regular circulation and reference services.
c. No one other than staff or volunteers in the office.
d. Provide gloves and masks for staff. A limited supply of masks is available for patrons who are in need.
e. Provide hand sanitizer, soap, and paper towels at all times.
f. Maintain reasonable supplies of disinfectants and cleaners.
Service level Abbreviated Guidelines:
a. Limit number of patrons to 5 inside the library at all times. Patrons are limited to 30 minutes to browse for materials.
b. Patrons are required to wear a mask at all times.
c. Return all books in the book-drop or on the clearly marked bookcase in the entryway. Materials will not be checked-in for 96 hours.
d. Sanitize or wash hands (provided) when you enter the library.
e. Patrons may browse and self-select materials but are discouraged from placing handled books back on shelves. All handled library materials will be brought to the circulation desk and placed in quarantine for 96 hours.
f. Multiple simultaneous patrons will need to wait on the “healthy distance” marks to checkout books.
g. Computer use is limited to 30 minutes. Computer use for entertainment purposes is discouraged until further notice and will be limited to 30 minutes. Computer use can be extended per staff discretion for 2 hours only if our library capacity limits (5 people) are continuously met and that patron is using computers for legitimate reasons: home or job search, taxes, education, etc.
h. In the book-sale room patrons will be expected to sanitize hands and wear a mask before they touch books. Only one person or family group allowed in the book-sale room. We will encourage all people to wear gloves (provided) in the book-sale room because books will inevitably be shuffled around.
Circulation and Borrowing Privileges
When the Vassalboro Library is lax in returning materials borrowed through interlibrary loan, the library can temporarily lose the privilege of borrowing materials for all of its members. It is crucial that materials borrowed through interlibrary loan be returned in a timely manner. Habitual failure to do so may result in loss of the privilege in order to preserve the privilege for other library patrons.