11.  Pandemic Policy

The New Salem Public Library (NSPL) has established this policy to take effect in the event of a public health crisis.

  1. The NSPL will close following mandates or recommendations for closure issued by public health or government officials on the local, county, or state level.

  2. If the library is closed or services reduced due to public health concerns, the staff will immediately post the relevant information on the library website, social media, and the doors of the library.

  3. Library staff will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment. In the event that shortages are anticipated, appropriate responses to such a shortage will be considered, including closure of the library.

  4. At the discretion of the Library Director and the Library Board of Trustees, the NSPL may close, reduce operating hours or limit services temporarily in order to keep staff and patrons safe.

  5. The NSPL commits to keeping staff on payroll at normal levels for as long as possible. This can include taking alternative steps such as working remotely, professional development, and other library work-related tasks.

 

Tiers of Closure:

  1. Fully closed to the public. Staff will work remotely if possible.

  2. The Library is open for curbside service.

  3. The Library is open for limited service.

  4. The Library is fully open and operational.

 

The Tiers of Closure are not intended as a plan but as a system to help analyze the capabilities and services of the library during unusual circumstances. Based on available metrics and guidance from the town, county, and state authorities, the Director and Board of Trustees will prioritize the safety of the community and select the necessary tier. The library will not move from one tier to the next until it has operated at the initial tier for two weeks.

If active and new cases decrease in the county and state during that time, the Director and Trustees will assess whether moving to the next tier is appropriate. If active and new cases increase in the county and state during that time, the Director and Trustees will assess whether moving to the previous tier is appropriate. In the event that the public health crisis in question uses metrics other than active and new cases, the Director and Trustees will use these tiers and the relevant data to assess the needs of the community and the library.

 

The Library Director is encouraged and authorized to:

  • Take actions in accordance with the recommendations and edicts of public health or government officials on the local, county, or state level.

  • Promote staff immunization in accordance with the Board of Health’s demographic priorities and guidelines.

  • Enforce a “go home if sick” policy, whereby staff arriving at work sick or becoming sick during the day are sent home.

  • Take action to contribute to contact tracing.

  • Follow a Continuity of Operation plan that includes cross training, remote access, single point service access, reduced hours of service and authorized staff working from home.

 

Reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees 2.8.22