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 services metrics, grids, and phases can be found on pages 18-23 of the Pandemic Operations Plan.

Pandemic Operations Plan (New 1/12/21)

In-Building Appointment Services Temporarily Suspended Starting Dec. 8, 2020 (Updated 12/7/20)

→ Curbside Pickup Available at Five Branches (Arbor Hill/West Hill, Bach, Delaware, Howe, Pine Hills) — Appointment Required

→ Exterior Book Drops are Open for Returns

→ Two Branches Remain Closed to the Public (North Albany and Washington Ave.)

→ 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. (Updated 1/12/21)

Below you can read the text of the Continuation of Service Plan. For the entire Pandemic Operations Plan, please refer to this document.

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 2.0% 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 3.1% 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

PAUSE: VIRTUAL LIBRARY SERVICES

  • Buildings closed and in-person service suspended.
  • The library provides reference and research by phone and online.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.
  • Book drops open with limited materials processing.

PHASE 1A: STAFF RETURN TO BUILDINGS

  • All library branches remain closed to the public.
  • Reduced scheduling allowing for staff redundancy.
  • Hard limit on number of staff in each building.
  • Book drops open for returns.
  • Libraries receive delivery of materials from the UHLS system.
  • Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Staff expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks.
  • The library provides reference and research online and by phone.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.
  • 72-hour quarantine for material.

PHASE 1B: ALTERNATIVE DELIVERY OPTIONS FOR MATERIAL

  • Library materials provided to patrons via curbside pickup at limited locations. Some branches remain closed to the public.
  • Patrons may request material online or by phone.
  • Book drops open for material returns.
  • Library facilities remain closed to the public.
  • Libraries receive delivery of materials from the UHLS system.
  • Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Staff expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks.
  • The library provides reference and research online and by phone.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually. 
  • 72-hour quarantine for material.

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

  • Select library branches open for limited services by appointment only. Some branches remain closed to the public or only provide curbside pickup.
  • In-person library transactions by appointment only at select locations with reduced hours.
  • Book drops open for returns.
  • No in-person programs.
  • No meeting room use.
  • No study room use.
  • Limitations on certain services.
  • Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
  • Library materials provided through curbside pickup.
  • Libraries receive delivery of materials from the UHLS system.
  • Patrons may request material online or by phone.
  • Library facilities 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.
  • The library provides reference and research online and by phone.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.
  • 72-hour quarantine for material.

PHASE 2B: OPENING OF SELECTED LOCATIONS WITH STRICT HEADCOUNT

  • Select library branches open with a strict headcount of the number of patrons allowed in the buildings. Some branches may continue operating by appointment.
  • Limited hours of operation for public services.
  • In-person library programming on a limited basis with hard caps for program attendance and number of programs offered at each building.
  • Outdoor programming only.
  • Programming open to city of Albany residents only.
  • No programs inside the building.
  • No meeting room use.
  • No study room use.
  • Limitations on certain services.
  • Limited outreach and coordinated projects with external partners.
  • Library materials provided through curbside pickup.
  • Libraries receive delivery of materials from the UHLS system.
  • Patrons may request material online or by phone.
  • Library bathrooms will remain closed to the public.
  • Select buildings (those that will be opened in the next phase) will be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Staff expected to complete job-specific duties and tasks.
  • The library provides reference and research online and by phone.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.
  • 48-hour quarantine for material.

PHASE 3A: OPENING OF ALL LOCATIONS WITH HEADCOUNT

  • All library branches open with a strict headcount for number of people allowed in each building.
  • Limited hours of operation for public services at the branches.
  • In-person library programming on a limited basis with hard caps for program attendance and number of programs offered in each building.
  • Outdoor programming only.
  • Programming open to city of Albany residents only.
  • No programs inside the building.
  • 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 provides reference and research online and by phone.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.
  • 48-hour quarantine for material.

PHASE 3B: REGULAR HOURS RESUME WITH HEADCOUNT

  • Regular library hours resume at all branches.
  • Library locations open with a strict headcount for the number of people allowed in buildings.
  • In-person library programming on a limited basis with hard caps for program attendance and number of programs offered in each building.
  • Outdoor programming only.
  • Programming open to city of Albany residents only.
  • No programs inside the building.
  • Public bathrooms opened.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The library will provide reference and research online and 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.
  • 24-hour quarantine for material.
  • Opening of public restrooms.

PHASE 4A: UNRESTRICTED REGULAR HOURS

  • Patrons may be allowed into buildings without a headcount.
  • In-person library programming on a limited basis with hard caps for program attendance and number of programs offered at each location.
  • Outdoor programming only.
  • Programming open to city of Albany residents only.
  • No programs inside the building.
  • Meeting room use limited to groups of no more than 10 people.
  • 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 provides reference and research online and by phone.
  • The library provides online programming and content.
  • New investments in eContent material.
  • Building and grounds maintained.
  • The business office continues to function, both in building and virtually.
  • 24-hour quarantine for material.
  • Public restrooms open.

PHASE 4B: NEW NORMAL OPERATIONS

  • Indoor library programming on a limited basis with hard caps for in-person program attendance and number of programs offered in each building.
  • Meeting room use on a limited basis with hard caps for in-person meeting attendance and the number of meetings offered in each building.
  • Study room use by appointment.
  • Social distancing of computers and equipment.
  • Self-checkout stations.
  • No quarantine for material.
  • Public restrooms open.
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