Some Questions to Ask as Libraries Decide Whether to Stay Open or to Close

bottle of Purell hand santizerUpdate 3/26/2020 – Your library should be closed. The American Library Association, The Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Rural and Small Libraries have all issued statements. Some of us are working from home. Some of us are just home.
Staff should not be required to report to work to get paid.  You should not be offering curbside picked up or any other similar service. Staff should told to stay home and practice physical distancing. All of us should be getting paid whether this is work we can do at home or not.
This started as a Twitter thread and got quite long and since I do have a blog here it is.

Can you REALLY adequately clean the public spaces often enough?

Do you have enough cleaning supplies to last?

How about hand sanitizer?

For how long?

How will you handle patrons who appear ill?

What about those who appear a little ill? like just a cough?*

How will you handle complaints about those patrons?

Complaints from those patrons?

What extra measures are you taking to help alleviate staff stress during these times?

Are you contributing to the spread of COVID-19 by being open?

What do you local health officials say?

What does the CDC say?

Do you really need to be open? Really?

How much risk are you comfortable placing staff in?

Are they compensated well for that risk?

Will you allow staff to opt-out of high-risk duties like working the reference and check out desks?

Are you willing to work those desks yourself? For how long?

Do you know about vocational awe?

When staff do become ill or need to quarantine how will you pay them? Hint the answer is not with their own sick or vacation time.

Have you reviewed your policies and updated that so staff who become ill or need to quarantine after working a public service desk can be paid with administrative pay instead of their own sick time?

If the library closes how will you pay staff? All the staff, even the part-time staff. Hint the answer is not with their own sick or vacation time. **

Have you reviewed your policies and updated them so staff can be paid with administrative pay instead of their own sick time?
If you do not have the authority to do this, who do you need to talk to to make it happen? Call them now.

*I have a chronic cough it’s worse right now because my spring allergies have kicked in. It is VERY awkward and uncomfortable for me to be in public.

**Telework is a possibility for some staff. But chances are there are ample reasons they may not be able to do that or do it well.

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