Welcome: This meeting was held on a Zoom platform and began at 2:00 p.m., and lasted for about an hour. Carolyn Bennett Glauda was our facilitator.
Library News – we discussed what our public and college libraries look like these days! Some frustrations are noted here.
Hyde Park Library is open nearly full-time, and things are going well. 2 patron computers are available by appointment only. In the children’s room, only 1 family is allowed at a time. Patrons can visit for 45 minutes at a time, with 15 people allowed in the main part of the library simultaneously. Of two book clubs, half of the patrons have now dropped out. The library is offering hoopla and Libby for eBook and audio book options for patrons.
At Chester Library, they do keep their patron door locked, and encourage people to use their window service. They may reduce library hours if Covid infection numbers rise in Orange County. Fewer employees could also come in to improve social distancing techniques. He mentions that there are not a lot of reference questions at this time.
Carolyn works from home full-time now. Work is allowing staffing at 50% capacity – which is 4 staff members at a time. Her office has been dealing with mold remediation, unfortunately. When staff is in the office, there are no communal items allowed (such as someone bringing in a plate of muffins, etc.).
L said that her library allows ½ hour browsing, computer usage, voter registrations and census filing (the census is now over of course). They also are running some outdoor and virtual programming. Currently they are short-staffed due to two of their staff members being in quarantine.
H said her academic library is open to Staff and Students. Visors or alumni may NOT visit at this time, and college ID’s are required. Most students are compliant with the new rules of library use. Unfortunately they had to remove the refrigerator and microwave. Their returned print items are quarantined for 72 hours. Testing and webcams are being used as well. Students are taking both in person and online classes. If the campus must close again, staff will work from home. Scheduling the reference desk is a bit tricky due to social distancing requirements. Work study has begun at the library. The college plans to stay open until December break.
A stated that GPL&HS is doing lots of cleaning in between patrons, with 20 patrons allowed in the building at a time for 30 minute sessions. 5 public computers are available, and they are holding outside and virtual programs for patrons of all ages. RCLS is requiring a 6-day-quarantine, with items being discharged on the 7th day.
What will your library be doing in the future?
H plans on more eBooks for course reserves doing forward. She also hopes that at some point next year, they can offer arts and crafts and perhaps some snacks to the students.
A imagines GPL&HS will continue holding virtual classes in the winter and spring. They will continue to buy extra eBooks, since not every patron is comfortable bringing home library books (even if they have been quarantined).
Carolyn mentions that in the past library workers were not always able to drive to Highland, NY to Southeastern's offices (due to its distance). Now of course, they are offering virtual programming events going forward. Hopefully library workers from farther distances will now be able to enjoy these programs. SENYcon2021 is happening in April 2021.
Upcoming Reference SIG Meetings: The group hopes to meet again in December 2020.