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Special Interest Group Archive: Reference 07/08/2020

These are the notes from meetings dating back to 2015.

July 8, 2020 Meeting

The meeting was held via Zoom, and was convened by Charles DeYoe of Chester Public Library

Notes from the meeting

Introductions were made, with library affiliations.

Attendees were polled on the current status of their library, particularly regarding reopening.

            Walden Public Library: extensive activity, reopening to public planned next week.

            Hyde Park PL: curbside pickup only, no plans to open building to public yet.

            Dominican College: building open to staff only, curbside pickup now offered.

            Irvington PL: have been making preparations, currently only curbside.

           St. Thomas Aquinas College: curbside with little response, staff level at half, busy with virtual reference.

What staff activities are taking place? T is doing major non-fiction weeding.

S is doing mostly reference, via Google Chat. Library is promoting service to faculty.

H is using Zoom for reference, and offering Library Help (paid service). Workstations in the library are available for students needing to use Zoom.

Number of computers in all libraries is being reduced for social distancing. M reports nine seats have been reduced to two at Hyde Park PL.

Many libraries are still unclear when they will reopen, and what procedures will be followed.

Irvington PL may reopen on August 1st.

Plexiglass shields have been ordered for Chester PL.

Plexiglass shields installed in Hyde Park PL have proven inadequate, so larger ones are on order.

Many libraries are experiencing difficulties in getting all the PPE they need, others are OK.

C and H reported that there hasn’t been public resistance to masking so far, though not all staff are careful.

Possible sources for decent quality masks: Ollie’s Outlet (Kingston, Middletown), Tractor Supply Company (many locations).

General concerns about reopening:

Dominican College full-time faculty, staff and administration are furloughed one day per month and the college has stopped contributions to employee retirement accounts. No layoffs yet.

St. Thomas Aquinas College hasn’t had layoffs yet, but some per diem employees are gone and there is a hiring freeze.

Hyde Park PL: no layoffs but some workers have left and are not being replaced.

Irvington PL has had no staffing impact yet.

Chester PL’s budget is separate from town and staffing level is OK currently.

Brief discussion of upcoming autumn: possible virus resurgence, new lockdown, dialing back reopening.

Recommendation was made to keep careful track of activities and procedures in each phase, in the event of dialing back so as not to “reinvent the wheel.”

Students coming from high-risk areas and foreign countries may be quarantined on arrival at colleges. If online-only foreign students are denied residency colleges may have to refund their payments. Many are athletes and status is unclear if athletic programs don’t resume.

Sharon asked how curbside pickup is going in those locations offering it.

Mary reported it’s going well at Hyde Park PL . About 30 transactions during initial 5-hour shift.

MHLS is delivering ILLs again and holds are being placed.

Chester PL has been busy. They’re trying to schedule a maximum of 4 patrons per hour.

Some check-in issues at Hyde Park PL due to patrons not realizing returned materials are not checked in until after 72 hour quarantine. Chester has dedicated quarantine account so that items go off patron records immediately.

Discussion of patron and staff tracking:

St. Thomas Aquinas College requires tracking patron arrival and departure times, taking contact information, etc., for possible contact tracing later.

Dominican College is using Verify system throughout campus, via swipe cards.

Hyde Park PL has sign-in sheet for staff. When patrons are allowed in the building they will be invited to sign the sheet but will not be required to.

Chester PL is not tracking, due to privacy concerns.

Irvington PL has staff sign-in with health questionnaire.

Hyde Park PL has daily screening e-mail sent to director, who must approve before staff are allowed to come to work.

St. Thomas Aquinas Library has similar procedure but results are sent to HR.

Chester PL has an informal screening, questions on symptoms, and temperature is taken on arrival.

Next meeting is tentatively set for Wednesday, August 12th.

notes taken by Maris Kristapsons

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