To establish a protocol that will be used in the event of an epidemic/pandemic or other public health emergency. The Library should plan for staff being unable to report to work in the event of a serious infectious disease outbreak. In addition, during any public health emergency organizations may be required to take measures to help slow the spread of illness such as closing by order of county, state or federal health or government officials. It is important to ensure that core business activities of the Library can be maintained with limited staff and reduced hours as determined by the Library Director.
Continuity of Operations Plan—Epidemic/Pandemic
This plan differs from a general emergency preparedness policy or procedure. With an emergency preparedness policy, there is an assumption that staff will return to the building or begin recovery work almost immediately after the event or crisis (such as after a fire or storm). If there is a serious infectious disease outbreak, recovery may be slow and limited staff, services, and hours may be necessary for several weeks or more.
- During a public health emergency, as declared by the Library Director with input from the Library Board President, the Library building may be closed to the public. Closures will be announced by signs, news release, on website and social media.
- During a public health emergency as declared locally, county-wide, state-wide or nationally, the Library building will be closed to the public during stay-at-home orders. Closures will be announced by signs, news release, on website and social media.
- During a public health emergency as declared locally, county-wide, state-wide or nationally, the Library building may be closed to the public after the stay-at-home orders are lifted. This will be decided by the Board on a situational basis. Closures will be announced by signs, news release, on website and social media
In addition, Roanoke Public Library may temporarily close, reduce its operating hours, or limit services in the event that there is insufficient staff to maintain basic service levels or to reduce the possible spread of the contagion. In the event of closure, overdue fines will be suspended. The exterior book drop may be closed or kept open and cleared periodically.
Types of Library Closures:
- Complete Closure: no staff in the building at any time.
- Library Closure with Essential Services Only: exempt and other essential library employees may be required to work from home or on site during closures to perform necessary duties, such as payroll, bill paying, building maintenance, emptying book drops, etc.
- Library Closure with Reduced Services – staff may:
- be allowed to work inside the building, although the building is closed to the public
- be assigned to provide services to patrons in newly determined ways
- be assigned to clean the building
In the event that Huntington County schools are closed because of an epidemic, Roanoke Public Library will remain open unless one of the above conditions under the “Library Closure” section above are met.
Compensation in an Epidemic/Pandemic
During the closure, a part-time or full-time employee will be paid for the time they were scheduled to work for as long as the Library Board deems it is fiscally sound as decided at a Library Board meeting, whether the meeting is regular, special, online and/or emergency and noted in the Board Meeting Minutes. If after the Board deems they can no longer pay, the employee may use sick leave, vacation or other time accumulated in order to receive a paycheck. Only in an extreme, long-term emergency, will the Library Board consider furloughing or laying off any employees.
To receive this “emergency” pay, the staff will be expected to work on any library projects, programs or other library related work that is possible during the emergency whether they are at home or in the library. The staff will also be responsible for submitting a time sheet whether in hard copy or through electronic means for the entire emergency duration so that pay can be calculated.
Impact on Staff with Child Care Concerns
In the event of school districts and day care closures due to an epidemic, staff may choose to use their accrued leave or take unpaid time off to stay at home.
In the event of cancellation of services, programs, meeting room usage or Library closures, Library Director will:
– Notify staff, trustees, and public via email, social media and the website
– Call or email scheduled program presenters, community room reservations, outreach sites, program attendees (if we have contact information)
– Provide information regarding the epidemic/pandemic on the Library’s website’s homepage – Create signage for updating patrons inside the library
– Notify local media and other government entities as deemed necessary
This policy shall continue to be followed in the event of an epidemic/pandemic or public health emergency while the library remains operational. Pre-approved time off will be honored unless voluntarily cancelled.
If recommended by local, state or federal health officials, Library staff will follow suggestions and directions to implement social distancing within the Library buildings.
Additional Cleaning Measures
During the epidemic/pandemic, the Library will ask cleaning person to increase cleaning.
Responsibility for Library Operations
In the event that the Library Director becomes ill and can’t perform normal duties, the Library Assistant with help from the Library Board will assume the duties of the Director in order to keep providing the Library’s continuing essential operations.
The Roanoke Public Library will follow all state and national laws throughout the entire public health emergency.
The Library Board and Director will consider all local, county, state and national recommendations throughout the entire public health emergency.