Temporary Safety Practices Policy

The Corinth Free Library is committed to serving its community during hard times and good.  The year 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to our nation, state, and area of service.  To continue serving our patrons during this difficult time, while placing the health and safety of our community at the forefront, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted the below Temporary Safety Practices Policy. 

The board’s authority to adopt these measures is found in our charter, bylaws, New York Education Law Sections 255, 260, 226, 8 NYCRR 90.2, and Article 2 of the Not-for-profit corporation law.  We also consider it our duty to develop these measures to make our services accessible at this time. 

 Staff at the Corinth Free Library have the authority to enforce these measures like any other of the Library’s Rules.  Concerns about this policy should be directed to the Library Director. Thank you for honoring these measures, which are designed to keep our community safe, while allowing access to the library.

Movement between phases is at the discretion of the library and subject to Executive Orders, the New York State Department of Health, Saratoga County, and the Town and Village of Corinth.  All phases are dependent on the availability of PPE and cleaning supplies as well as the health and availability of our staff.

Corinth Free Library Temporary Safety Practices

Phase 1:  No public allowed in building

Following the guidance of SALS (the Southern Adirondack Library System), the precedence of member libraries and government and public health recommendations, the Library Director will establish a re-opening date for the Corinth Free Library, in coordination with the Board of Trustees.  To prepare for this opening date, staff will work a full-time or modified schedule in the building and will clean, process returns, process new items, take phone calls, take care of mail and administrative tasks, work on getting the building ready for public access, re-organizing and working out logistics of quarantining returned materials, work on collection development, and continue planning.  If staff is working a shortened schedule in the building, they will make the rest of their hours up in continuing to work at home.

Our staff is small enough that we can easily work in the building while maintaining social distance.  Face masks and gloves will be provided to staff.  Masks will be used as needed while in the building if staff need to be within 6 feet of each other.  Gloves will need to be available to empty the book return, though staff may opt to wash their hands before and after this task instead.  Plexiglas barriers are not needed yet as the public will not be allowed in the building. 

The public will be allowed and encouraged to return materials to the outdoor book return during this time.  All returned items will be brought inside the library by staff wearing PPE and the items will be quarantined for a length of time to be determined by SALS.

Phase 2:  Some public services restored – Curbside service

At this stage services will be provided at curbside only, as the public will not be allowed in the building yet.  Members can request items either through the catalog or by phone and we will set a time for pick-up.  If members of the public don’t have a car or are walking they can call or knock on the door and we will bring the items out to them. 

It will still be requested that all returns be made to the outside book return, and quarantining of materials will continue.

Staff will be masked when dealing with the public.  They can wear gloves to deliver items and/or wash their hands before and after each delivery is made.  Members of the public should also be masked during transactions and when within six feet of staff.  Every effort will be made to keep contact very limited.  Plexiglas barriers are still not needed yet as the public will not have access to the building.

A modified schedule is still recommended here, with perhaps a special time for immune-compromised / vulnerable people.  Once curbside pick-up is running smoothly, if staff is willing and able, limited home delivery to that population may be considered.

Phase 3:  Open to the public, limited access allowed in the building – curbside & desk service

Access will be to the lobby and front of desk area only.  The stacks will be closed to the public.  Pick up of materials will continue and be done either inside at the desk or at the curbside.  Additional services now available are: faxing, coping, printouts via eprint all done by staff to limit contact on machines.  The public will have access to the PC catalog to aid in placing requests and checking their accounts.  Access will be through the front door only and public will be allowed only in the entranceway and the area directly in front of the desk.  The bathroom will not be accessible.  For people who need to use the ramp: while the back door will be locked there will be signage and they will be instructed to knock for admittance.  They will only be allowed into the area immediately in front of the back door.

It will be requested that all returns continue to be made to the book return box and quarantining of materials will continue.

Staff will be masked for all interaction with the public.  Glove use or frequent hand washing will be required of staff at all transactions.  Members of the public will be required to wear masks or protective coverings for their nose and mouth while inside the building.  The library will not be providing masks for members of the public.  Hand sanitizer will be available on the desk and near the front door and people will be encouraged to use it.  The door to the children’s room shall remain closed to prohibit access to that level.  Floor decals will be used to highlight social distancing.  Plexiglas barriers will be in place at this point for the safety of both staff and members of the public.  Barricades or caution tape will be used to prohibit public access to certain areas.  Due to the small size of the library and recommendations from government concerning capacity limits, some patrons may be temporarily asked to queue outdoors on the porch and sidewalk.  

A modified schedule is still recommended here for public access in order to allow staff time to stage materials for pickup and to do the necessary cleaning.  One day per week will be reserved for curbside access only.  Immune compromised and vulnerable populations will be encouraged to visit on that day.  If home deliveries are possible, they will also happen on that day.  Staff will be required to work a full schedule with the remainder of their hours either in the building while it is not accessible to the public, or working from home.

Phase 3A:  Open to the public, with increased but not full access allowed in the building

At this phase all precautions and regulations in place in Phase 3 will remain in effect.  However there will be limited access to the public use computers by appointment only.  Time allowed on the PCs will be limited and strictly enforced as there will be fewer computers available due to social distancing regulations.  When a person arrives for their appointment, staff will lead them to a PC.  Each PC station will be wiped down after use before another person is allowed at that PC.  Computer users will not be allowed to wander in the building or have access to areas other than the computer station.

If possible, the Children’s Room may be made accessible one family at a time by appointment only as well.  This will depend on the ability of staff to clean and wipe down surfaces after use and would therefore be very limited to only a few appointments a day.  No toys or board books will be out for use until there is a vaccine available or it is deemed safe to do so

Phase 4:  Library open to public with precautions in place to enforce social distancing

Normal hours for staff will be in effect.  The public will have more hours available to access the library, but not full regular hours as staff will need time to clean the workspace.  If quarantining of materials is still ongoing, the stacks will remain closed to the public. 

At this phase the public will be allowed entrance to most areas of the library.  There may still be a state mandate on the number of people allowed in the building based on the square footage of the building.  If this is the case it may be best to keep the back door locked with admittance there by knocking so as to better keep track of numbers in the building.  Computer use will be limited to 3 PCs (#1, #3, and the one in the HRR) to allow for social distancing.  The best practice would be one person at a PC at any time, though an additional family/household member might be allowed to help. Strict time limits will still be in effect and appointments will be encouraged.  Seating will be limited and set up to encourage social distancing.  The idea will be to encourage library use, but not lingering.  Any programs will be dependent on whether there is a mandated number of people allowed in the building and will by necessity be very limited in scope or take place outside, if allowed, while still maintaining social distancing, or continue virtually online.  In-house access to magazines and newspapers will depend on current recommendations regarding viability of the virus on paper.

The Children’s Room will continue to present some challenges.  Social distancing will be harder or even impossible to enforce for young children.  No toys or board books will be out for use until there is a vaccine available or public health officials give the all-clear on resuming normal activities.  It might be necessary to continue to have access to the children’s room by appointment – one family at a time to allow for cleaning of high-touch areas between uses.

Curbside pick-up will still be available and must be arranged ahead of time.

It will still be requested that all returns be made to the book return box.

Staff will continue to be masked for all interactions with the public.  Masks and social distancing will be required of the public.  Floor decals may need to be adjusted or removed at this stage.  Plexiglas barriers will still be needed but may need to be adjusted.

Staff will be working a full schedule.  In order not to increase staff hours the public will still have slightly limited hours available.  This would allow time for staff to clean as well as to offer a special time for immune-compromised / vulnerable people; or perhaps limited home delivery to them. 

Phase 5: Open to the public for a regular schedule with no barriers or protective measures needed.

  • All phases are dependent on adequate supplies, PPE and staffing capabilities.  Cleaning will be increased during phases 1-4.
  • Communications:  To aid the community in honoring these requirements, the Library will make this policy available on its website and post it in the building.
  • ADA:  In the event any safety requirement is not practicable on the basis of a disability, please contact Rebecca Fasulo or Michael Hadfield at 518-654-6913, or write to cor-director@sals.edu or 89 Main St., Corinth, NY 12822. The library is committed to safe access for all.
  • Code of Conduct:  Adherence to these practices shall be enforced as requirement of the Library’s Code of Conduct until such time as this temporary policy is revoked.

This policy was approved on June 1, 2020

 It reflects the best information available at that time and is subject to change