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Special Interest Group Archive: Support Staff 06/02/2020

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

June 2, 2020

The Support Staff SIG met online via Zoom. The convener was Carl Hoyt from Bard College. These are the notes and links from the meeting:

Notes from the meeting

Support Staff SIG

Opening music: In the Clouds.

Reopening plans:

  • Bard college does not have a comprehensive plan or immediate plans for the summer. In place of that, a staff member iis using the MHLS reopening template as a basis for their own plans to start answering questions.
  • There are the parts of the plan that we can control and the parts that will just happen that get decided for us... it's good to focus on the controllable aspects so you don't get overwhelmed with 'what if's'
  • Getting ahead of the plan is a way to feel a little more control. 
  • Is security going to allow people on campus? Will the library have to provide a list of who is planning on being on campus? 
  • Closed stacks would help to keep things clean, but it also takes away one of the best parts of the library. 
  • We already have been told no one will be allowed in without a mask. not staff or patrons. It is scary because some security at retail have been killed or shot Stores by me have stopped counting people coming in :(
  • I was going to say I didn't sign up for policing whether or not people do or don't wear masks, but there is that 'other duties as assigned' line in the job description :)

Curbside Pickup

  • Poughkeepsie:  been at work all along. processing new books, and last week we launched curbside pick up. our circulation staff are on the front line of curbside pickup, with some back up from librarians and children's room staff pulling holds. We have had our book drops open and are cleaning books first before they are checked in and then we send all returns to other libraries next door to MHLS.
  • MSMC is about to make a plan for curbside, they have a committee to make a workable plan for using a box in front of the library. It’s primarily a faculty/staff service, 
  • Woodstock is starting curbside on June 22. Our Friends have cancelled our book sale season and have postponed our annual Fair until the Fall so we are planning on using the Book Barn as our book quarantine area and rotating them in and out for check in, etc. Plus we are doing in house holds only until MidHudson boots up the delivery system and there is talk of doing home delivery, particularly to our patrons who are home bound, no contact, etc. Still working on how curbside is going to work, but for now no patrons will be allowed in the building. Pre-pandemic we had a Home delivery system for our home bound folks, so this may expand, not 100% nailed down yet.
  • Libraries are only doing holds for books locally, not ILL and within systems. 
  • The first week we will have telephone reserve only.  The Ramapo Catskill System's online catalog will start the following week. For each library's own items only. "Local holds"
  • Newburgh has not started curbside yet. 
  • West Nyack is starting on June 15th
  • How are people handling curbside, are you blocking off parking in your lots? Woodstock's parking lot normally gets filled with non-library user municipal/tourist parking and that just can't work for the anticipated flow of curbside traffic. Traffic cones, police tape, what is anyone using?
  • In Poughkeepsie: we have a table in the lobby and a table outside. we place the bagged items on the inside table when the patron calls to say they have arrive we put the items out side. we have posted on our web page on the instructions for curbside pickup and emailed instructions to patrons as well. we have posted on our web page on the instructions for curbside pickup and emailed instructions to patrons as well
  • we have had approximately 10 to 20 per day and our hours are 8-8 Monday- Thursday and 9-5 Friday and Saturday

Are you using bags? 

  • We are using bags.  Many stores are doing curbside pickup.  We are following their model.  Making appointments with patrons for pickup. We will call them when the item is ready
  • we also have deliveries of new books arriving from Baker and Taylor
  • we are using paper bags for curbside pick up

Technology solutions

  • MSMC will be using LibCal for scheduling pickups. 
  • The local bookstore is using an app for barbershops and salons to arrange for pickup times.
  • There is some way to do it in Create Lists as well
  • I know we have said we are fine free until December but what about patrons who want to borrow books and still ahve many out?

Online Resources

there is a great facebook group called Libraries Step Up (in times of crisis) with lots of sharing about opening with curbside pickup

Other Services

  • Readers Advisory is going to kick into high gear. Reader's Advisory is definitely important.  I expect long phone conversations with patrons.  They will appreciate being able to speak with us.
  • I saw on a Facebook Library group that a few libraries have done "Mystery bundles" - where bags of materials with random or themed items are put together for patrons to check out when they don't know what they want
  • MSMC might have a curated topic section for browsing when we get to phase II
  • The only thing would be making sure those bundles and items are cleaned/quarantined in-between uses/
  • We have Book Chat on Zoom where people discuss what we are reading now.
  • A good way to get book recommendations.

Students, volunteers, and co-workers

  • We're discussing in our department (ILL) having staff work different days and trying to match student schedules so the same students work with the same staff member to limit contact, and also have them do more collecting at night.
  • We already have a student who does limited night collecting for CNY Sun-Thurs when classes are in session.
  • What are the hours going to be at a new session? Will there be weekend hours? Can we start hiring students for summer or fall work? 
  • Student workers are cleaners
  • A big difficulty is a lot of the support staff are in a single large open office environment.
  • Where there any talks about signing any waivers before coming back to work?
  • We had to
  • That we understand the new policies in place plus we will have to sign a health screening every day we are scheduled to work
  • We also have to submit a health questionnaire everyday before we start our work day
  • Yes that is it
  • My understanding is that the health screening is to help protect our co-workers as well as patrons even in curbside. We are going to need to really trust co workers.

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 7 at 10am.

Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065