2020 October 5 Librarian’s Report

Where we are now – After Labor Day we went to Phase 3A.  We now allow browsing in a controlled area as well as computer usage for 45-minute intervals.  People are using those options, but usage is not heavy.  Requests for curbside pickup have gone way down; most people are happy to come in and pick up their reserved items.  The bathroom remains closed to the public.  There is no seating as lingering is discouraged.  Most people are in and out relatively quickly.  WIFI is on 24/7 and can be accessed from outside the building.  People have been good about wearing their masks and only a few reminders have been needed.  It is more common to have to remind people to wear their masks correctly.  Social distancing is a bit problematic at times as there is a bottleneck at the entrance and people can be impatient.  Additionally the produce is right in the entryway.  Staff hours are the normal 35 per week.  Public access hours are less than that as we need to reserve time to clean at the end of our shift, this gives people 3 ½ less hours of access.  We are opening the same time each day to make it easier for people to remember; we are open 2 evenings and close earlier on Fridays and Saturdays.  Staff hours are Monday and Tuesday 10-5 & 7-8:30, Thursday 10-5, Friday 10-4, and Saturday 10-3 with the door being locked ½ hour before our shift ends.

Personnel –Michael and I have settled in to the new routines.  Although we have had some busier spurts of people in the building, we are still busiest with materials.  The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) did happen and Lily was a tremendous help even though there were many things that she could not do.  After meeting with our volunteer Jane, it was decided that she would not work set hours because of our COVID way of doing business.  She is working on some ideas for grab and go craft kits and she has said she can pick up produce if needed.

3rd Quarter programs – Summer Reading Program was totally remote with no in-house programing.  Numbers were very low.  We gave away 60 children’s books at the elementary school during a lunch pick up.  Farm 2 Library program has been a big hit over the six weeks that we’ve been up and running.

Upcoming programs – No in house programs will be scheduled except for take-away programs.  Farm 2 Library will continue through October and possibly for a week or two in November.  Space craft kits from NASA as a grab and go program.  Other craft kits are possible.  We may try to do another book give away before the weather gets bad and possibly do a book give away at the senior center.

SALS & Directors’ Council – SALS has shared its budget – due to NYS budget restrictions there is a 20% reduction in their budget.  We only get a small amount of direct NYS aid, which will be diminished by 20%.  The larger effect for us will be due to cuts made at SALS.  NYS new minimum standards are on track to go into effect January 1, 2021.  I think we are in pretty good shape, but will be double checking to see what we might need to work on before then. 

Joint Automation Council / computers – Our 2 new computers arrived 9/25.  During the summer one of our public pcs died.  The desk pc has started having some issues and will be replaced next year.

Friends – Carol Barcomb passed away.  She was a cashier for us at our sale; she will be missed and we will need to find another cashier for next year.

Maintenance – Furnace cleaning set for October 22. 

Other – New insurance policy is here for review.  This is emailed now.  In the past Lloyd has looked this over, is there a board member who wants the email forwarded to them? 

            ADP has Small Business Services set up on their website now.  If anyone wants to look into these I can set that up for them.

            It’s time to file the Tax Cap report.  Do you want to continue to ask for the maximum amount that we are allowed?

Meetings attended in Third quarter 2020:

  •             Directors’ Council meetings are now monthly as are Start-Up Committee meetings. 
  •             Additional workshops:
  •             7/7       Webinar (Michael)
  •             7/9       Webinar
  •             7/14     Webinar
  •             8/10     CDLC reopening meeting
  •             8/17     Youth Service meeting (Michael)
  •             8/17     Webinar
  •             8/24     Farm 2 Library

Old Business: 

  • Census – It looks like the Census may run through the end of October as originally planned, however this is not certain.  Please continue to encourage people to fill this out if they have not yet done so.
  • Farm2Library – We were finally able to make the connections needed to join this program.  The first week we had shelf stable produce only.  The fridge arrived pretty quickly so we have been getting cooler items now as well.  Response has been terrific – lots of good feedback on Facebook and many people picking up items.  For the 1 week in August we had 14 people take food.  In September we have had 117 people take food.  I have been picking up the produce on Wednesdays in Hudson Falls and getting it set in the library.  Jane has volunteered to pick up the produce as needed and she will be doing that this week as I have a meeting at that time.  I will be in the library for the meeting and so will be able to let her inside.  The program will go no later than mid-November from what I understand.  Next year I will see about changing the pickup day to one that we are normally open in order to make it easier for volunteers to get into the building and also so that I don’t tie up all my Wednesdays.
  • Harriet Hawley Miller Trust – We received a partial payment of $10,000.
  • Pandemic – We are currently in Phase 3A
    • We are still using social media to get out information by posting daily book recommendations with occasional announcements and other news.
    •  We have also sent out press releases for announcements such as changes in services.  These have been printed in the Post Star and Local First pretty quickly.
    • It is not looking promising for being open in a normal manner for quite some time – possibly into the spring.  I will be looking at our Phase 4 to see if anything can be adjusted in ways that we can extend access safely.
    • I believe that all libraries in our service area are currently open in one form or another.  This runs from curbside only with no public in their building to mostly back to normal in some of the smaller libraries.  There is a lot of variation due to restrictions on staff, number of public allowed in buildings, size and layout of buildings, local restrictions in some areas, etc.  I have not heard of any regional library that is allowing inside seating and lingering and from what I have heard most have no plans to move in that direction at this time. 
    • I have heard of a few libraries that are looking to set up a spot to allow indoor use of WIFI for students doing distance learning.   I haven’t heard any specifics such as time limits, number of people allowed or ways to make the usage available to any who want it by having schedules or other methods.  I will continue to follow this as it’s a good idea; I’m just not sure if it would be feasible in our building.
    • We have not been allowing the public to use our bathrooms.  A large part of the reason for this is the amount of time that staff would need to dedicate to cleaning.  For the most part the people who have asked are not many and most of those have been people coming in for that reason only (day-trippers and others from outside the community.)  We have been sending those folks to Subway.  Since people are not spending a large amount of time in the building we haven’t had much of an issue with this.  In cases of an emergency we would allow access.  Some libraries are allowing bathroom use, perhaps in dedicated bathrooms if they have more than one so as to reserve a separate bathroom for staff.  Some libraries have dedicated cleaning staff, especially the larger libraries.  I have heard of a few of the smaller libraries who are thinking of locking their bathrooms and having people ask for the key (like old time gas stations)  in order to allow access yet keep track of when cleaning was needed.   
  • Ramp and other outside repairs – Lloyd has taken care of the brickwork on the side of the entrance.  The village is working on the spot between the ramp and the building: old cement has been taken away; crushed stone will be placed when they have the time.  Tuff Kote will be resurfacing the ramp soon.

New business:

  • Mobil Hot Spots – available through T-Mobil for $28.70 per month.  These would be to loan out to people for limited times.  While a great idea, especially these days, you need a good cell service connection to have them work consistently and cell service is spotty in our area.  SALS does loan out a hot spot to libraries (not patrons). 
  • Snow removal – Danny Mills will not be doing snow removal for us this year.  Anyone have an idea for a replacement?