Continuation of Service Plan

CONTINUATION OF SERVICE PLAN: Guide to Reopening During COVID-19

The Continuation of Service Plan is now part of the library’s larger Pandemic Operations Plan. The continuation of service metrics, grids, and phases can be found on pages 18-23 of the Pandemic Operations Plan. The plan was updated on 4/13/21. 

We are Currently in Phase 4A of the Plan — Six locations are currently open for in-building services. (North Albany is closed for renovation until early 2022.) Note that services are slowly added in each phase based on staff and building capacity. See a list of current services and hours. (Updated 6/1/21)

 

MASKING IN THE LIBRARY (Updated 5/19/21)

The library’s Board of Trustees renewed the mask mandate for all visitors (ages 2 and older) and staff on May 18, 2021. We are taking this step to ensure APL is accessible, safe, and welcoming to everyone in our community. The NYS Department of Health “strongly recommends masks in indoor settings where vaccination status of individuals is unknown.” For now, we’ve chosen the more cautious alternative.

This decision will be reviewed at every board meeting. The next meeting is Tuesday, June 8, at 6 pm and can be watched live on YouTube.

Patrons wishing to share their comments on the mask policy with the board can send an email or call the public comment phone line. If you want your comment to be read at the meeting and put into the public record, be sure to include your name and street address. | publiccomment@albanypubliclibrary.org | (518) 290-6905

 

Pandemic Operations Plan  (Updated 4/13/21)

Washington Ave. Open & Five Branches Add Hours (New 6/1/21)

→ North Albany Branch Remains Closed to the Public

→ State of Emergency Policy

POP (Pandemic Operations Plan) for Library Leaders: Suggestions from APL’s Executive Director

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The Continuation of Service Plan, part of the larger Pandemic Operations Plan, guides the library through a phased approach to reopening buildings and resuming in-person services. (Last updated 4/13/21)

Below you can read the text of the Continuation of Service Plan. For the full Pandemic Operations Plan, please refer to this document. (Updated 4/13/21)

CONTINUATION OF SERVICE

The library will take a phased approach to restriction of and reintroducing services based prevalence of a COVID-19 in the community and organizational capacity. Below is the phased approach for the COVID 19 epidemic. This will change based on public health guidance.

MOVING FORWARD DUE TO DECREASE IN COMMUNITY SPREAD

  • Decisions on moving forward will be based on the 7-day rolling average of percent positive Covid test results provided by New York State for Albany County and reported on the New York Forward dashboard.
  • If the 7-day rolling average hits the first number in the next phase and stays at or below it for 14 days, the library will move forward into that new phase as long as we have organizational capacity to do so.
    • Example: While in Phase 2B, the 7-day rolling average would have to hit 6.0% and stay at that number, or lower, for 14 days to trigger a move forward to Phase 3A.
  • We will stay in each phase for a minimum of two weeks.
  •  

(See this grid larger on page 18 of the Pandemic Operations Plan)

MOVING IN REVERSE DUE TO INCREASE IN COMMUNITY SPREAD

  • Decisions on moving in reverse will be based on the 7-day rolling average of percent positive Covid test results provided by New York State for Albany County and reported on the New York Forward dashboard.
  • If the 7-day rolling average hits the first number in the next phase and stays at or higher than it for 14 days, the library will move backward into that new phase as long as we have organizational capacity to do so. 
    • Example: While in Phase 2B, the 7-day rolling average would have to hit 7.1% and stay at that number, or higher, for 14 days to trigger a move back to Phase 2A.
  • We will stay in each phase for a minimum of two weeks.

(See this grid larger on page 19 of the Pandemic Operations Plan)

NOTES | Source: Covid Act Now
1. Positive test rate, also known as test positivity, is the percentage of all tests performed that come back positive. Positive test rate is an important indicator to determine whether or not there is widespread testing in a given community. As the number of tests increase, the test positivity rate is expected to decrease, because tests will not be restricted to highly symptomatic cases and will capture more people with few or no symptoms.
2. The World Health Organization recommends a positive test rate of less than 10%.
3. The countries most successful in containing COVID-19 have positive test rates of 3% or less.
4. A 1% positive test rate indicates a maximal return to normalcy that is viable prior to herd immunity via widespread vaccination. Community transmission is well monitored and virus flare-ups are contained rapidly. Most high-risk/low criticality functions can resume.

PHASED APPROACH TO REOPENING

Under each phase is a description of the types of services, programs, and materials that will be provided to patrons, as well how those items will be provided. Each phase builds upon the previous one, providing more access to the public. The newest services in each phase are listed first. (Note: North Albany Branch is not included at this time because the building in which it is housed is currently closed by the owner, the City School District of Albany, pending construction.)

PAUSE FOCUS: VIRTUAL LIBRARY SERVICES

PAUSE: VIRTUAL LIBRARY SERVICES (14.1% or higher)

  • Buildings closed to public and in-person service suspended.
  • Provide reference and research assistance by phone and online.
  • Provide virtual material and programs.
  • New investments made in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in-building and virtually. 
  • Book drops open for returns.
  • Majority of staff work from home.

PHASE 1 FOCUS: PHYSICAL BOOKS & MATERIALS

Phase 1A: STAFF RETURN TO  BUILDINGS (13.1-14.0%)

  • All services, programs, and materials are virtual.
  • All library branches remain closed to the public.
  • 48-hour quarantine for material.
  • Libraries receive delivery of materials from the UHLS system to prepare for next phase.
  • Reduced scheduling allowing for staff redundancy with a hard limit on number of staff in each building. 
  • Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Book drops open for returns.

PHASE 1B: ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY OPTIONS FOR MATERIAL (8.1-13.0%)

  • Curbside pickup of physical materials provided to patrons at all branches by appointment. 
  • Patrons may request physical material online or by phone or email.
  • Inside of buildings remain closed to the public.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • 48-hour quarantine for material.
  • Programs, services, reference, and research assistance available virtually.

PHASE 2 FOCUS: COMPUTERS & IN-PERSON SERVICES

PHASE 2A: SELECT IN-PERSON SERVICES BY APPOINTMENT AT 3 BRANCHES (7.1-8.0%)

  • Select in-person services by appointment available inside the Howe, Arbor Hill/West Hill, and Pine Hills branches. Appointments are made via phone.
  • Curbside pickup of material by appointment available at all branches.
  • Programs, services, reference, and research assistance available virtually.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • 24-hour quarantine for material.

PHASE 2B: OPENING OF SELECTED LOCATIONS WITH STRICT HEADCOUNT (6.1-7.0%)

  • Select in-person services available at all branches by appointment. Appointments made via phone.
  • Curbside pickup of material by appointment available at all branches. 
  • Programs, services, reference, and research assistance also available virtually.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • 24-hour quarantine for material.

PHASE 3 FOCUS: IN-PERSON PROGRAMMING

PHASE 3A: WIDER OPENING OF BRANCHES (5.1-6.0%)

  • Three branches — Arbor Hill/West Hill, Howe, and Pine Hills — open for all services, including computer use, by headcount capacity (number of patrons in building at any given time is limited due to social distancing guidelines).
  • Rest of the branches — Bach, Delaware, and Washington Ave. — open for services by appointment.
  • Outreach activities are allowed at the library and in the wider community.
  • Curbside pickup of material by appointment available at all branches. 
  • Programs, services, reference, and research assistance available virtually.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • No material quarantine.

PHASE 3B: ALL SERVICES AT ALL BRANCHES BY HEADCOUNT (2.1-5.0%)

  • All services available in person at all branches by headcount capacity (number of patrons in building at any given time is limited due to social distancing guidelines).
  • Curbside pickup of material available by appointment at all branches.
  • Outreach activities allowed.
  • Outdoor in-person programs allowed. These programs are restricted to City of Albany residents.
  • Programs, services, reference, and research assistance also available virtually.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • No material quarantine.

PHASE 4 FOCUS: PUBLIC SPACES

Phase 4A: MEETING & STUDY ROOMS OPEN (1.1-2.0%)

  • Limited use of the meeting rooms and study rooms at all branches is allowed. 
  • Restrooms are open to the public.
  • All services available at all branches by headcount.
  • Curbside pickup of material available by appointment at all branches.
  • Outreach activities allowed.
  • Programs, services, reference, and research assistance available virtually.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • No material quarantine.

PHASE 4B: INDOOR PROGRAMS OFFERED (1.0% or lower)

  • Indoor in-person programs allowed at all branches. These programs are restricted to City of Albany residents.
  • Meeting and study room usage at all branches no longer limited.
  • Restrooms are open to the public.
  • All services available at all branches by headcount.
  • Curbside pickup of material available by appointment at all branches.
  • Outreach activities allowed.
  • Some programs offered virtually or outdoors.
  • Some services, reference, and research assistance available virtually.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • No material quarantine.