Library Access During a Public Health Emergency

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    The purpose of this policy is to establish a protocol for re-engaging with the community as we reach a new stage of an epidemic/pandemic, or other public health emergency and will serve as a template for resuming library operations and services.

    Following the lead of local, provincial and federal health agencies, the Fort Frances Public Library Board is dedicated to keeping the staff and the community safe. Due to the nature of the pandemic and the emerging science and the changing protocols, this policy is also subject to continued review and revision.

    The transition between phases of re-opening is to be determined by permission of the federal, provincial and municipal governments as well as the judgement of the CEO, the Library Board and the comfort level of the staff.

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    No Patron Access

    The CEO is responsible for monitoring public health guidelines and offering access to the community that is appropriate to the current guidelines.

    1. Curbside delivery, may be offered in accordance to the current guidelines and staff will adhere to best practices for physical distancing.
    2. Staff needed to fulfill requests for curbside delivery will be determined by the CEO and all safety precautions such as physical distancing, procedures for using shared spaces, usage of PPE, and frequent hand washing, will be adhered to while in the library.
    3. Library cards may be renewed over the phone for a period of three months from the date of the call.
    4. Library cards may be issued over the phone for electronic access only. These cards are issued for three months and may be converted to a regular card after identity has been determined.
    5. Registration with no ID for library cards may be issued for electronic access only. Cards may be converted to access physical collection once identity has been established. A note is placed on the patron account indicating that e-access only is provided.
    6. The book drop will be open when curbside delivery begins and the hours/days open will be determined by the CEO. Special arrangements will be made for items that do not fit in the book drop.
    7. Overdue fines will be suspended until the library resumes normal operations.
    8. Curbside Delivery will continue until the risk of infection is minimal. Ended at the discretion of the CEO.
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    Patrons Admitted

    1. Following public health guidelines, the CEO or representative will monitor the number of patrons allowed in the building at one time.
    2. All patrons must use hand sanitizer, provided by the Library, upon entering the library and will be required to wear a face mask.
    3. Signs posted on the front door will state the opening hours, physical distancing requirements and other conditions for patron and staff safety.
    4. In Accordance with municipal and provincial policy, posters stating the conditions under which entrance is permitted shall be posted on the front door and when mandated, a staff member will be posted at the entrance to affirm entrance. Contact tracing information may be collected at this time.
    5. Patrons will provide FFPLTC staff their name and phone number for contact tracing purposes. This information will be kept for 30 days and deleted.
    6. Various sections of the library will be blocked to patron access to discourage loitering
    7. Availability of magazines and newspapers will be determined by the CEO in accordance to provincial guidelines.
    8. Some chairs and tables will be removed to encourage physical distancing.
    9. Patrons will obey the directional arrows placed on the floor to direct the flow of traffic around the library.
    10. Patrons will be encouraged to use the self-check out terminals.
    11. Frequent hand washing and cleaning of shared equipment/spaces will continue.
    12. All patrons must keep their mask on for the entire time they are in the library
    13. Library cards and credit/debit cards and cash can be accepted at this time and frequent hand washing is encouraged.
    14. Patrons who arrive in the library without a mask will be asked to return with a mask. The library will have a small number masks on hand to give to the occasional patron without a mask.
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    Computer Access

    1. In order to comply with physical distancing protocols, only one computer per row will have a chair. Chairs will be placed diagonally from each other to allow for maximum physical distancing.
    2. The computers in the teen and children sections will be unavailable
    3. After a patron is finished with a computer, staff will clean and wipe the keyboard, mouse and surrounding desk area.
    4. Patrons are allowed the amount of computer time that is permitted by the public health guidance. Access is granted based on availability and patrons can book an appointment if they wish.
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    Other Services

    1. Patrons will be allowed to print from computers and to use the photocopier.
    2. Patrons will be encouraged to use debit/credit cards at all times.
    3. Cash will be accepted and frequent hand washing is encouraged.
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    Hours of Operation

    Hours of Operation during a re-opening stage will be determined by the CEO, taking into account the availability of staff and requirements such as contact tracing and curbside delivery. If the population is being encourage to work from home, accommodations will be made where possible.

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    Staff Considerations

    1. Staff is expected to inform the CEO if any travel is to be undertaken and abide by the guidelines set out by Northwestern Health regarding self isolation and self monitoring.
    2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) will be provided to employees, by the library.
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