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Pandemic Resources for Libraries

Concerned about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in your library or wondering what to tell your patrons? We've put together some guidance and resources for libraries.

Go to: ClosingsReopeningMeetingsPoliciesSummer Reading ProgramsResourcesGeneral Guidance

Library Closings

If your library has to close due to local outbreaks, please let us know by filling out this form, or if you need help with due dates of book club kits or ILL items due to patron illness, please let us know at nlc.ask@nebraska.gov.

Reopening Your Library

Guidance on restoring library services as conditions change:

Meetings

Need to hold a libray board or other public board meeting? Governor Ricketts has issued an executive order to give public boards the flexibility to hold meetings virtually.

  • These meetings are still subject to the Nebraska Open Meetings Act, so be sure to post notice of the meetings as you would normally, telling the general public how they may access the meeting (contact the board president or library director for a phone number or link and password.
  • Zoom is a commonly used videoconferencing software and they have a page of Privacy and Security Resources that will help libraries keep their virtual meetings safe and secure: https://zoom.us/docs/en-us/privacy-and-security.html.
  • The Nebraska Library Commission does not endorce any one specific online meeting service; here are some commonly used resources.

Policies

Here are some examples of policies and restrictions Nebraska libaries have put into place for their communities:

Summer Reading Programs

Planning ahead for a socially-distant summer reading program? Here are some ideas that other libraries are using:

  • Summer Reading in a Box from Wilson Publib Library (Cozad)
  • Virtual Programming for Teens from the Central Plans Library System (CPLS)
  • Reader Zone: The Nebraska Regional Library Systems and the Nebraska Library Commission are teaming up to provide access to Reader Zone state-wide this summer. This web-based software lets you create reading logs or calendars that can replace your paper ones. Those in your reading programs can report their progress through apps or via the Reader Zone website. You will then be able to see stats & progress without having to compile them yourself. You will be able to create multiple "groups" to best serve your community's needs. For example - you might create a group for young readers that has a goals based on the number of books read per week, one for teens based on number of minutes spent reading per month, and then one for adults that has per page milestones. Access to this system is offered for the time frame May 1 to July 31. Please register as soon as possible. To sign-up - please go to this link: https://forms.gle/hVGpH32HBeAa3ZQP7
  • Nebraska 4-H STEM Reading Connections Program - books, guided questions, and expanded learning resources to support literacy development, enhance relationships, and to make a connection with your local library

Resources

Responses and Guidance from Local and National Library Organizations

Health education/facts:

Continuing Operations/Disaster Planning

Providing online/remote services:

Continuing Education:

General Guidance

General guidance for patrons and staff, from the CDC:
  • Practice preventative behaviors
    - Stay home when sick
    - Cover coughs and sneezes
    - Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Disinfect surfaces
    - Wipe down doorknobs, light switches, table tops, keyboards/mice, phones, and other shared equipment.Guidance from the CDC on disinfecting.
    - Books and other library materials cannot easily be disinfected; remind patrons and staff to wash their hands after handling.
    - How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic - article from American Libraries Magazine.
    - Temporarily remove toys, tech kits, games, and similar items that would need to be continually cleaned.
    - from the National Institute of Health, New Coronavirus Stable on Surfaces for Hours
  • Promote online collections
    - http://nlc.nebraska.gov/overdrive/
    - http://nebraskaccess.ne.gov/resources.asp
    - Free ebook sources
  • Eliminate touch-points with patrons
    - Provide tissues and hand santizier if possible.
    - Have patrons scan their own cards.
    - Encourage use of outside drop-boxes if you are open; if you close, ask patrons to hold materials and extend due dates/wavie fines.
    - Consider curb-side service, closing meeting rooms, postponing or cancelling programming to limit traffic inside the building. Demco has this checklist for curbside services.
    - Increase your WIFI signal so it extends outside the building to allow patrons to access the internet on their own devices outside.

For more information, contact Information Services Team.