Continuation of Service Plan

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

Download a PDF of the plan (Updated 5/12/20)

BACKGROUND

The Continuation of Service Plan—a document that guides the library through a phased approach to reopening buildings and resuming in-person services—was approved by the APL Board of Trustees at its March 12, 2020, virtual meeting.

The library administration recognizes that due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), library operations have been drastically reduced. This includes shutting down of physical operations and moving to an entirely virtual service model, which started on March 14.

With an easing of restrictions coming to New York State, the library developed a plan to reopen services according to information provided by the Upper Hudson Library System, CDC, county, state, and WHO guidelines. The plan matches the capacity of the organization to each stage of the process, taking into consideration the health and well-being of staff and patrons.

While drafting this plan, administration considered three key factors. The first is staffing capacity. The library administration recognizes that some staff may not be returning to work due to choice, family obligations, or health. Public service desks need to be staffed in a way that minimizes exposure. The second is the capacity of the Facilities Department to keep up a heightened cleaning protocol, including staffing and supplies. The third is the ability for library leadership to pivot in case of a “second wave” of coronavirus and the need for the organization to shut down operations in the face of another statewide “pause” in non-essential business.

There is no start date for the Continuation of Service Plan. It will begin when New York State allows the Capital Region to reach Phase 2 of the NYS Priority Industries for Re-Opening and upon approval by the APL Board of Trustees. Moving into each subsequent phase will be contingent on the library’s capability to expand services, and must be approved by the library board.

The APL Continuation of Service Plan phases are:
1A – Staff Return to Buildings
1B – Alternative Delivery Options for Material 2A – Opening of Selected Locations with Patron In-Building Use by Appointment Only
2B – Opening of Selected Locations with Strict Headcount
3A – Opening of All Locations with Headcount
3B – Regular Hours Resume with Headcount
4A – Unrestricted Regular Hours
4B – Easing Patron Restrictions
5 – New Normal Operations

PAUSE: VIRTUAL LIBRARY SERVICES

The library has been in this phase since March 14.
● Buildings closed and in-person service suspended.
● The library provides online reference and research.
● The library provides reference and research by phone.
● The library provides online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 1A: STAFF RETURN TO BUILDINGS

Phase 1A is contingent on when the Governor allows the Capital Region to reach phase 2 of the NYS Priority Industries for Re-Opening. (Addendum 3)*
● Library facilities will remain closed to the public.
● Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
● Staff will be expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks. (Addendum 2)
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 1B: ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY OPTIONS FOR MATERIAL

Phase 1B is contingent on when the Governor allows the Capital Region to reach phase 3 of the NYS Priority Industries for Re-Opening. (Addendum 3)
● Library materials will be provided to patrons via curbside pickup at limited locations.
● UHLS will begin delivery service to member libraries.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● Book drops opened.
● Library facilities will remain closed to the public.
● Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
● Staff will be expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks. (Addendum 2)
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 2A: OPENING OF SELECTED LOCATIONS WITH PATRON IN-BUILDING USE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

Phase 2A is contingent on when the Governor allows the Capital Region to reach phase 4 of the NYS Priority Industries for Re-Opening. (Addendum 3)
● Library facilities will be open at limited locations.
● In-person library transactions will be by appointment only.
● Hours will be reduced.
● Book drops opened.
● No programs.
● No Meeting Room use.
● No Study Room use.
● Limitations on certain services.
● Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
● Library materials will be provided with a curbside pick up.
● UHLS will provide delivery service.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● Library facilities will remain closed to the public.
● Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
● Staff will be expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks. (Addendum 2)
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Building and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 2B: OPENING OF SELECTED LOCATIONS WITH STRICT HEADCOUNT

Phase 2B is contingent on the library’s capability to expand services. Before it can begin, this phase will be presented by library administration to the Board of Trustees for approval.
● Select library facilities will open with a strict headcount of patrons allowed in the buildings.
● Library facilities will be open at limited locations.
● Limited hours.
● No programs.
● No Meeting Room use.
● No Study Room use.
● Limitations on certain services.
● Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
● Library materials will be provided with a curbside pick up.
● UHLS will provide delivery service.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● Library facilities will remain closed to the public.
● Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
● Staff will be expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks. (Addendum 2)
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 3A: OPENING OF ALL LOCATIONS WITH HEADCOUNT

Phase 3A is contingent on the library’s capability to expand services. Before it can begin, this phase will be presented by library administration to the Board of Trustees for approval.
● All library facilities will open with strict headcount for number of people allowed in buildings.
● Limited hours.
● No programs.
● No Meeting Room use.
● No Study Room use.
● Limitations on certain services.

● Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
● Library materials will be provided with a curbside pick up.
● UHLS will provide delivery service.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 3B: REGULAR HOURS RESUME WITH HEADCOUNT

Phase 3B is contingent on the library’s capability to expand services. Before it can begin, this phase will be presented by library administration to the Board of Trustees for approval.
● Regular library hours resume at all locations.
● Library facilities will open with a strict headcount for the number of people allowed in buildings.
● No programs.
● No Meeting Room use.
● No Study Room use.
● Limitations on certain services.
● Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
● Library materials will be provided with a curbside pick up.
● UHLS will provide delivery service.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● Library facilities will remain closed to the public.
● Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
● Staff will be expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks. (Addendum 1)
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 4A: UNRESTRICTED REGULAR HOURS

Phase 4A is contingent on the library’s capability to expand services. Before it can begin, this phase will be presented by library administration to the Board of Trustees for approval.
● Patrons may be allowed in buildings without a headcount.
● No in-building programs.
● No Meeting Room use.
● No Study Room use.
● Limitations on certain services.
● Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
● Library materials will be provided with a curbside pick up.
● UHLS will provide delivery service.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.

● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 4B: EASING PATRON RESTRICTIONS

Phase 4B is contingent on the library’s capability to expand services. Before it can begin, this phase will be presented by library administration to the Board of Trustees for approval.
● Library programming begins on a limited basis with hard caps for program attendance and number of programs offered in each building.
● Programming open to residents only.
● Meeting Room use limited to groups of no more than 10 people.
● No Study Room use.
● Limitations on certain service
● Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
● Library materials will be provided with a curbside pick up.
● UHLS will provide delivery service.
● Patrons may request material online or by phone.
● Library facilities will remain closed to the public.
● Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
● Staff will be expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks. (Addendum 1)
● The library will provide online reference and research.
● The library will provide reference and research by phone.
● The library will provide online programming and content.
● New investments in eContent material.
● Buildings and grounds maintained.
● The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.

PHASE 5: NEW NORMAL OPERATIONS

Phase 4B is contingent on the library’s capability to expand services. Before it can begin, this phase will be presented by library administration to the Board of Trustees for approval.
Due to the possibility of a “second wave” of COVID-19 in the fall, the library will follow all established protocols, as listed here, until sometime in 2021 when a clear medical treatment for the virus is discovered. (These protocols are informed by CDC, county, state, and WHO guidelines.)
● Library programming on a limited basis with hard caps for in-person program attendance and the number of programs offered in each building.
● Meeting Room use on a limited basis with hard caps for in-person program attendance and the number of programs offered in each building.
● Study Room use by appointment.
● Social distancing of computers and equipment.
● Self-checkout stations.

ADDENDUM 1 | CONTINUED SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Safety Protocols
● Ask all patrons to wash their hands before and after using library equipment.
● No use of library phones by the public.
● Do ALL check-ins after a 24 hour period.
● Only serve pre-packaged food or food served by a licensed vendor.
● No toys in public spaces.
● All surfaces are wiped down before and after programs (where the program takes place).
● Staff should wash hands before and after programs and desk shifts.
● All returns must be done via the book drop. The material collected from the book drop will be quarantined for a 24-hour period.
● All material received in the book drop should be handled wearing gloves.
● Returned devices should be wiped down upon return.
● At the end of each desk shift, staff members should wipe down hard surfaces.
● Facilities staff have been directed to wipe down all hard surfaces on a regular basis, including surfaces in meeting and study rooms.
● Scan library cards in the patrons’ hands.
● Continued monitoring of cleaning and health supplies.

ADDENDUM 2 | WORK & SCHEDULE EXPECTATIONS

Work Expectations during Phase 1A-2B
The intention of Phase 1A is about getting staff back into the building(s), and normalizing work again as safely as possible. This phase will give us the opportunity to orient and train staff to new safety, cleaning, and distancing protocols that will be put in place temporarily during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff is asked to stick to their assigned schedule and building. This will provide the administration with the ability to do internal contact tracing in case a staff member is to become ill or is asked to quarantine.

We ask that staff not leave the library premises during their shift. Visitors will be barred from all APL buildings, vehicles, and grounds. Staff will be asked to wash their hands at the beginning of each work shift and prior to leaving.

PHASE 1A-2B: SCHEDULES AND ASSIGNMENTS
Shifts
● Staff will be assigned to one of two teams: A-week or B-week.
● Staff will be on a rotation where they work one week at home and one week in the building.
● Staff will be assigned to a building and will only work in the building they are assigned.
● Staff will only work onsite the week they are assigned.
● Staff will be scheduled between 9 am and 6 pm.
● Staff may not work split shifts during the in-building week.
● Staff may not enter the building on weeks they are not assigned, or outside their assigned hours during their in-building week.

Number of Staff in Building
There will be a limit to the amount of staff in each building at the same time. We are waiting for guidance based on square footage.

Hours of Operation During Onsite Weeks
● 9 am to 6 pm
● Monday through Friday

WORK EXPECTATIONS
Services Staff
PHASE 1A
● Supply, technology, and furniture inventory.
● Virtual reference.
● Continuation of online programs and content creation.
● Collection Management: Inventory, shelf reading, weeding, and book transfers.

PHASE 1B
● Pull material for patrons.
● Handle returned material according to protocols.
● Check in UHLS-delivered material from courier according to protocols.
● Virtual reference.
● Continuation of online programs and content creation.

PHASE 2A
● Set appointments for library patrons.
● Check material out for patrons.
● Pull material for patrons.
● Handle returned material according to protocols.
● Check in UHLS-delivered material from courier according to protocols.
● Virtual reference.
● Continuation of online programs and content creation.

PHASE 2B
● Monitor the amount of patrons in the building.
● Set appointments for library patrons.
● Check material out for patrons.
● Pull material for patrons.
● Handle returned material according to protocols.
● Check in UHLS-delivered material from courier according to protocols.
● Virtual reference.
● Continuation of online programs and content creation.

Operations Staff
PHASES 1A-2B
● Finishing specific projects and repairs.
● Large- and small-scale projects that we have been putting off.
● Normal job tasks and assignments, as required.

Facilities
PHASES 1A-2B
● Each building will be assigned a member of the facilities team.
● Staff will work under direction of Facilities Manager as assigned.

ACCOMMODATION REQUESTS
Staff who believe they will not be able to work due to obligations or health, please reach out to the Human Resources Department. We will work with all staff to make sure that their concerns are addressed.

ADDENDUM 3 | NYS PRIORITY INDUSTRY PHASES FOR RE-OPENING*

Phase One
● Construction
● Manufacturing and wholesale supply chain
● Select retail using curbside pickup only

Phase Two
● Professional services
● Finance and insurance
● Retail
● Administrative support
● Real estate and rental leasing

Phase Three
● Restaurants and food service
● Hotels and accommodations

Phase Four
● Arts, entertainment and recreation
● Education

*New York Library Association Guidance
“With input from our partners from the Public Library System Directors Organization (PULISDO), NYLA has been advocating for libraries to be permissively included in Phase Two. This would allow libraries to begin the reopening process, to be determined at the local level, as early as when their region enters Phase Two. The decision on when, as well as the steps and procedures for reopening, are best determined locally, and in conjunction with the local library system and county Department of Health” — 5/12/20

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