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Southeastern NY Library Resources Council
May 26 meeting
We held the Resource Sharing SIG via Zoom on Tuesday, May 26. Judy Gitlin from Dominican College was our convener.
Notes from the meeting
Resource Sharing SIG:
What does re-opening mean for ILL?
- A lot of questions surrounding policy changes and safety procedures.
- Quarantining books will be part of getting back to work. (Some have been quarantined naturally as they haven’t been touched.)
- Some will be quarantining packages rather than books themselves, since technically the books have been safe in the packaging.
- One library is thinking about buying books instead of requesting them for the time being. (Although there are budget concerns.)
- Budget is a huge concern. One college has absolutely no money for ILL available to them.
What are your re-opening plans for in general?
- Have to re-arrange furniture to help ensure distancing between patrons.
- Hand sanitizer will be made available at various stations.
- Albany Public Library has a very detailed agenda for their phased re-opening plans.
- Looking at other libraries that are re-opening to get ideas for the best way to do it. An architect is going to come in and look at the furniture to see how it will be arranged. The architect was brought in to look at classrooms initially and then all college spaces.
- Public Library Systems have detailed plans available for what will be required.
- Plexiglass for checkout and to create separation.
- Curbside is being considered first.
- Some are considering utilizing library spaces to be used for classrooms. This will help with the reduction in class sizes in the fall.
What are plans for staffing?
- There are different scenarios depending on what the college wants. Half days, half the staff in the library at one time, self-checkout so people can get their items themselves.
- RCLS is opening in phases. Staff will be staggered in.
- One plan is dividing into teams and doing rotations. Many different scenarios based on what the administration decides. Also depends on how long libraries are open, how many people are in one space.
- A lot of people are assuming it’s going to be a hectic week - a lot of decisions will have to be made to plan for re-opening and figuring out what comes next.
Does anyone lend e-books?
- Some people see it as the trend and really the direction libraries are going in.
- It helps with statistics to have a lot of online resources. You can track everything.
- Going to be buying considerably more e-books than print books. (Can be quite a difference in the cost between print and e-books. It is not a way to save money).
- As far as ill - one library will lend individual chapters of e-books.
- Course reserves -- a lot of students are relying on those for textbooks. One publisher gave students access to their textbooks online. Red Shelf and Vital Source were also resources used to get textbooks.
- It’s hard to quarantine print reserves in between uses because they are so popular and typically have short loan times.
- People have different experiences with the popularity of their course reserves. For some libraries, they are incredibly popular. Other libraries have seen steadily declining use of their course reserves, even before covid.
Questions / concerns:
So many questions!
- There is a concern with being inundated with returns.
- Once we start offering scans, will there be an overwhelming amount of requests?
- If we’re not fully staffed, what will happen with requests?
- Some public libraries won’t be doing any ILL returns in their first phase of re-opening. Gradually opening up to sharing between regional libraries.
- Also concerns surrounding day-care and what that will look like for members.
How is Empire Library Delivery going to work?
- The courier is still up and running.
- They are starting to re-open -- it depends on individual regions. Need a certain amount of libraries in a region to start re-opening and then delivery can resume.
- You can sign up for ELD updates by heading here: https://www.esln.org/services/empire-library-delivery/ and hitting “contact”.
Where is the Mid-Hudson region as far as re-opening?
- We fall into multiple phases. Curbside delivery could be considered phase 1, while others think it could be phase 2 or phase 4.
- A lot of libraries are going to be opening under phase 2.
- The Mid-Hudson region was given the green light to start phase 1 this week.
- There are two weeks between phases as long as people continue to meet all the benchmarks for their regions.
- Getting back into our libraries sounds great, but it’s also nerve-wracking. There are so many unknowns.
- Safety concerns: what if a co-worker doesn’t want to follow protocols.
- How to make sure people are following protocols.
- When being out and about, it’s clear that there is a lot of variance between levels of compliance. Some people wear masks while others don’t.
- One library is going to be closed for the time being -- going to offer curbside assistance to prevent danger. (This is especially a concern in summer months when children like to come to the libraries.)
- Will have to be limits: headcounts to ensure only a certain amount of people can come at a time, limits on individual spaces to make sure people can be a certain distance apart.
- It’s going to be a challenge to have people behave a certain way.
- Demco did a webinar recently on re-opening your library. Presented by a doctor who focused on the virus & transmission: https://ideas.demco.com/webinar/covid-19-safety-tips-for-reopening-your-library/.
Is anyone doing any promotional things surrounding re-opening?
- Signage - going to be a priority. What are people doing to walk up and see when they approach the building? How do we keep things friendly and welcoming when there are so many rules involved.
- One library invested in a banner - saying that they missed the patrons. Made some posters.
- Had a bagpiper open the library a few years ago...maybe we could get them back!
- Security is going to have to be very involved as people come in. It’s going to be important to make sure people abide by the rules. Will need more than 2 guards on at a shift.
- Enforcing is definitely a challenge!
- One library layout makes it more challenging to see what people are doing behind corners.
Has anyone been doing anything with their mail?
- Has it been sorted?
- One library has been having an admin assistant come in once a week to sort everything.
- There are still some ILLS that were in transit but it’s hard to know where those items are.
- Some did automatic extensions on items that were lent.
- Automatically renew items with a new date. Grant all renewals.
Budgets? Did anyone have to get their book orders in before the fiscal year ends?
- Mainly e-books are being ordered right now.
- Going to be major budget issues going forward.
Next Meeting: Wednesday June 24th 10-11 am.
21 South Elting Corners Road | Highland, NY 12528
Phone: (845) 883-9065