COVID-19: Reopening and Reentry for Libraries

COVID-19: Reopening and Reentry for Libraries

About This Guide:

Last Updated on 4/13/21
As the situation around COVID-19 continues to change, it's important for us to look towards the eventual reopening and reinstatement of library services, and making sure that we do this in a way that protects the health and well-being of library staff, patrons, and communities. This guide is a collection of resources to help libraries with the decision-making process of reopening their library and will be updated regularly with new information. Please note, make sure to consult with local governments, county officials, and health departments to make sure that your library's services and plans align with local regulations and rules around COVID-19. 

Other COVID-19 Guides from the Montana State Library

  1. COVID-19: Guidance on Hosting Public Library Board Meetings
  2. COVID-19: Resources for Libraries
  3. COVID-19: Economic Development Resources for Libraries and Communities
  4. COVID-19: Weekly Meet-Up Summaries

National and Local Guidelines on Reopening

  1. FAQs on Reopening MT Reopening Guidelines (updated regularly)
    1. 11/13/20 Updated Topics: Information on housing assistance updates, confidentiality during contact tracing, quarantine vs. isolation and why close contacts should continue to quarantine even after receiving negative test results.
    2. 11/19/20 Updated Topics: Information on guidance for winter sports in schools, clarification on guidance for curbside/drive-thru/delivery services past 10 pm, and the application period for COVID-19 relief grants having ended.
    3. 12/4/20 Updated Topics: Information on quarantine guidance from the CDC and a COVID-19 statistic/information on travelers from out of state. 
  2. 4/30/20 MSL Statement from Jennie Stapp on Reopening
  3. 5/22/20 Email - Information on Phase 2 from MSL from Tracy Cook
  4. Reopening MT Guidelines from 4/22/20
  5. Reopening MT Guidelines from 5/26/20
  6. Reopening MT Guidelines for Schools/Bars/Restaurants from 4/22/20
  7. Governor Bullock Press Call on Phase Two Timeline from 5/19/20
  8. Governor's Office Press Release on Phase Two Timeline from 5/19/20
  9. Governor's Office Phase 2 Directive Document from 5/19/20
  10. Governor's Plan for Reopening Schools from 6/2020
  11. Governor's Office Mask Mandate Directive from 7/15/20
  12. Governor Bullock Press Call on Mask Mandate Directive from 7/15/20
  13. OPI Reopening Montana Schools Guidance from 7/2/2020
  14. Governor Bullock Directive on Group Size and Capacity from 11/17/20
    1. Social Media Graphic Summary for 11/17/20 Directive (see attached files)
  15. Reopening America Guidelines from the White House
  16. Montana Association of Counties COVID-19 Information Page
  17. Reopening Guidelines from Indiana - Back on Track
  18. Reopening Guidelines from Washington - Safe Start
  19. OCLC Library Services Status Map
  20. COVID Local - A Frontline Guide for Local Decision Makers

Library Reopening Plans 

These plans have been stripped of all personally identifying information, with the exceptions of plans from federal/state organizations/publicly posted plans.

  1. Utah State Library: Utah Libraries Plan for Moving Towards Full Service
  2. Colorado Library Consortium: Returning to Service - Libraries and COVID-19
  3. New Mexico State Library: Public Services Return to Work/Library Re-Opening Plan
  4. Vermont State Library - Curbside and Book Delivery Guidelines
  5. Idaho Library Commission: Webinar on Reopening Strategies
  6. Iowa State Library: Reopening Question Checklist
  7. New Jersey State Library: Phases of Reopening Draft
  8. Missouri State Library: Lib Guide on COVID-19 Resources (reopening guidelines on front page)
  9. Texas State Library: Planning for Library Communications During COVID-19
  10. Indiana Library Federation: Plan Outline in Phases from Library Closure to Reopening
  11. Example Library 1 (MT) (PDF attached below if you would like to download the file)
  12. Example Library 2 (MT) (PDF attached below if you would like to download the file)
  13. Example Library 3 (MT) (PDF attached below if you would like to download the file)
  14. Wedsworth Public Library Reopening Plan (MT) (PDF attached below if you would like to download the file)
  15. Oak Park Public Library COVID-19 Library Building Reopening: Phased Plan 
  16. Midlothian Public Library Tentative Reopening Plan
  17. Medium - "A Phased Reopening Plan for Libraries as COVID-19 Restrictions are Lifted"
  18. Example Reopening Plan from an Indiana Public Library
  19. Vespasian Warner Public Library - Service Table Plan (PDF attached below)
  20. Webjunction - Public Library Reopening Plan Examples: This covers plans from all over the country, on a variety of topics, so this is a great place to start if you want a wide breadth of examples to choose from
  21. Rhode Island - Youth Services Reopening Experiences
  22. Virginia - Guidelines for Libraries (PDF attached below)

Library Policy Examples

  1. Michigan State Library - Pandemic Resources for Public Libraries
    1. Example COVID-19 Patron Policies
  2. Belgrade Community Library - Patron Masks Required Policy (see attached PDF)
  3. Customer Service Training: Dealing with Angry Customers in a Pandemic
    1. Having Unpleasant Conversations (During a Pandemic) on YouTube (9 minutes)
    2. Communication Tips (While Wearing a Mask) on Youtube (8 minutes)
  4. ImagineIF Kalispell Mask Policy Proposal (attached as PDF below)
  5. Michigan State Library - Sample Positive Case Protocol Policy
  6. Wyoming State Library - Mask Up Information Posters

Mask Policy/Mandate Information

  1. Johns Hopkins - Coronavirus Face Masks and Protections FAQs

Library Services - Reopening Changes

  1. Maquoketa Public Library (Iowa) - Curbside Services Plan
  2. Carver County Library (Minnesota) - Curbside Services Plan
  3. Amarillo Public Library (Texas) - Curbside Services Plan

Resources on Reopening and Reentry

News Articles/Webinars:

  1. American Libraries, "Reopening: Not 'When', but 'How'?" from 4/17/20
  2. Chicago Tribune, "Suburban libraries are preparing major changes before they eventually reopen", from 4/17/20
  3. Library Journal, "Why You Shouldn't Do Curbside During COVID-19", from 4/22/20

Data Analysis and Forecasting

  1. CDC COVID-19 Forecasting

Cleaning Procedures and Safety Precautions

  1. EPA: List of Disinfectants Effective Against COVID-19
  2. CDC - Using a Cloth Mask
  3. Calculating Social Distancing Space and Capacity
  4. Yale University Library: COVID-19 and Collections Guide
  5. IMLS Research Project on Safe Handling of Materials - Announcement
  6. ALA List Serv Archive for Preservation Administrators Discussion Group (PADG)

Debriefing and Processing for Staff/Patrons

  1. What is Critical incident Stress Debriefing from Psychology Today
  2. Critical Incident Stress Debriefing - Explanation and Research from
  3. Red Cross - Psychological First Aid: Supporting Yourself and Others During COVID-19 Online Course

General Recovery

  1. FEMA - Recovery Planning
  2. Humanities Montana - CARES Act Grants for NonProfits

Ventilation/HVAC/Airborne Transmission Information

  1. FAQs on Protecting Yourself from Airborne Transmission
  2. CDC Scientific Brief on COVID Airborne Transmission
  3. EPA Merv Rating Explanation
  4. Route Fifty: How to Use Ventilation and Air Filtration to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus Indoors
  5. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air Conditioning Engineering) COVID-19 Resources Page
  6. New Hampshire State Library COVID-19 Page: See "HVAC Systems and COVID" Section
  7. American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) COVID-19 Reopening for Libraries Guidance
  8. Maine State Library COVID-19 Environmental Controls Resources
  9. Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners HVAC Guide
  10. Vermont State Library COVID-19 HVAC Guide
  11. Montana Library Filtration Purchases: Please note that these are not suggestions for purchase, this is more a list of options for people to explore, and see what other libraries in Montana are using.
    1. Charcoal MERV Filters with 12 Rating from Flowmark High Tech (based in Billings)
    2. Filtrete Air Purifier

Press Release Examples

  1. Lewis and Clark Library Press Release for COVID Exposure

Remote Work Projects/MSC Projects

  1. Potential Projects to Work on During Closure - MSC List

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