Library Phased Pandemic Reopening Plan

Town of Indian Lake Public Library Temporary Safety Practices

 The Town of Indian Lake Public Library is committed to serving its community during hard times and good.  The years 2020 and 2021 have brought unprecedented challenges to our nation, state, and area of service.

To continue serving our patrons during this difficult time, while placing the health and safety of our community at the forefront, the Library Board of Trustees has adopted the below Temporary Safety Practices Policy.  The safety measures in this policy have been confirmed with the Hamilton County Public Health Department.

The board’s authority to adopt these measures is found in our charter, bylaws, New York Education Law Sections 255, 260, 226, 8 NYCRR 90.2, and Article 2 of the Not-for-profit corporation law.  We also consider it our duty to develop these measures to keep our services accessible at this time.

Staff at the Indian Lake Library have the authority to enforce these measures like any other of the Library’s Rules.  Concerns about this policy should be directed to the library director. Thank you for honoring these measures, which are designed to keep our community safe, while allowing access to the library.

Scope of Temporary Safety Measures

The Indian Lake Library operates per relevant law and Executive Orders, including those pertaining to mandatory workforce reductions.  Therefore, the temporary practices in this Policy may be further modified as needed to conform with relevant Orders.  This document is to be considered a “living document” and its details may change as the Covid-19 pandemic evolves.  The goal is to protect our library staff and our community.

Safety Practices

Until the board votes to revoke this temporary policy, the library will require all people on the premises to abide by the following safety practices:

  1. Library users will wear facial masks when visiting the library and its grounds.
  2. Patrons and staff will practice Social Distancing (6 feet from others) while using the library and while on library grounds.
  3. Library materials will be disinfected upon check in and prior to re-shelving.


In the event any safety requirement is not practicable on the basis of a disability, please contact the library director to explore a reasonable accommodation.

Code of Conduct

Adherence to these practices shall be enforced as a requirement of the Library’s Code of Conduct until such time as this temporary policy is revoked by the Library Board of Trustees.


To aid the community in honoring these requirements, the library will transmit this policy through social media, and use a variety of health authority-approved, age-appropriate, multi-lingual and visual means to transmit this message in a manner consistent with our mission and our identity as a welcoming and accessible resource to the community.

Plan for Indian Lake Library Reopening

Phase 1: A plan for reopening is issued by the Governor of New York State

  • An Executive Order and conditions for re-opening of non-essential businesses is issued by the Governor of New York State and disseminated to all pertinent entities.
  • The Indian Lake Library will receive from the Southern Adirondack Library System a timeline and guidelines to re-open all libraries within SALS, including the Indian Lake Library.
  • Upon receiving said timeline and guidelines, the staff of the Indian Lake Library will initiate the following procedures:
  1. 7-14 days prior to an agreed upon opening date, the staff of the Indian Lake Library will report to the library to prepare to re-open.
  1. Staff and essential visitors will fill out mandatory health screening assessment questionnaire prior to beginning their assigned work shift. Assessments will be reviewed by library director every day and the review documented. Staff will be told to remain home if assessment proves Covid-19 symptoms are present, and advised to contact their local health care providers.
  1. The library director will contact the Hamilton County Public Health Department to report a suspected case of Covid-19 and ensure compliance with Covid-19 workplace protocols to ensure proper disinfecting and quarantine procedures.
  1. Work days will be limited to 6 hours per day to limit contact between staff members while maintaining social distancing protocols. Use of face masks and frequent hand washing protocols will be in place.
  1. Staff will report on a rotational basis with the director. The director, along with 1 member of the staff, will commence disinfecting all returned materials to ensure materials, are safe to be transported to other libraries and/or to be placed back within the collection. **Decontamination protocols will be provided by SALS and related professional library associations such as the ALA, IMLS, and others. As of 5/5/2020 a 3-day quarantine is recommended by SALS.  Note: As of May 3, 2021 the quarantine of returns is no longer required by the library system.  Our library will disinfect all materials upon check in.
  1. Different members of the staff, will report on following days, to continue process new materials and quarantined borrowed materials, and reconfigure the library setting to ensure social distancing.
  1. Materials that are to be returned to their home libraries will be put in transport containers and set aside to be picked up and delivered via the SALS Delivery Service, once that service has been re-activated.
  1. Staff will do cleaning and sanitizing of the library in preparation of returning patrons.
  1. Staff will maintain a daily cleaning log, with staff initialing the completion of cleaning tasks.
  1. Director and staff will develop protocol and schedule for daily cleaning of surfaces and materials for when the library reopens to the public.
  1. Staff will go through all children’s puzzles, building toys, plush toys, and board books to do the following where appropriate: remove from collection or store until further notice within the library storage areas.
  1. Director will create signs for public that communicate library policies regarding social distancing, wearing masks, etc. Policies will be displayed throughout the library and the director will make these policies available to the public prior to reopening via library website, social media, flyers, and notices in local papers.

Phase 2: Partial Reinstatement of Library Services to Patrons

  • The Library Board of Trustees, with input from the director and staff, will determine limited days and hours the library will be initially open to patrons and for what period of time these limited hours will remain in place.
  • Director and staff will determine a temporary schedule of work hours.
  • The Indian Lake Library will follow guidelines provided by SALS for best practices for services to the public.
  • Patrons will initially not be allowed into the library, but may access materials as per SALS guidelines for curb-side service or deliveries.
  • All library returned materials, until further notice, will be through patron deposit of such items into the book return depository. Staff will remove items and quarantine them for 3 days* prior to check in, re-shelving, and placing into inter-library loan.  Note: As of May 3, 2021 the quarantine of returns is no longer required by the library system.  Our library will disinfect all materials upon check in.
  • Staff will provide contactless curb-side service of library materials for patrons and will schedule those appointments with patrons during service hours of the Library only. Patrons who are unknown to staff will be required to show ID before receiving materials.
  • The library will retain names and contact details of served patrons for at least one month in order to help public health authorities trace people who may have been exposed to Covid-19, or who become ill shortly after library contact. Patron privacy which be maintained over these records.
  • Staff will provide phone service for patrons in need of assistance with technical questions regarding library digital resources; staff will answer patron reference questions as necessary, and will take orders for library materials for contactless curb-side service.
  • The director and staff will, in the course of their duties, wear a protective mask and gloves when handling materials and/or dealing directly with members of the public. Frequent hand washing protocol will remain in place.  Note: gloves are no longer required when handling materials, 4/1/21.
  • Social Distancing protocols must be maintained by staff while working together, and while interacting with members of the public.

Phase 3: Limited Admission of the Public to the Library

  • Public access to the library will depend on availability of sufficient disinfecting supplies, and hand sanitizer. Physical barriers at circulation desks and between computer stations must be in place prior to opening in order to sustain public and staff safety.  Hand sanitizer dispensers will be available upon entering and exiting the library building.
  • Members of the public must, until further notice, wear a protective mask of some sort (mask, bandana, scarf, etc.) that covers their nose and mouth.  Note: This policy remains in place as of August 19th 2021 update, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Those members of the public that do not have a protective mask will not be allowed into the library; the library will not issue temporary masks to the public for wear while in the library. Note: the Library does offer masks to patrons who need one upon entering, 6/1/21.
  • All library returned materials will continue, until further notice, to be through patron deposit of such items into the book return depository. Staff will remove items and quarantine them for 3 days prior to check in, re-shelving, and placing into inter-library loan.  Note: As of May 3, 2021 the quarantine of returns is no longer required by the library system.  Our library will disinfect all materials upon check in.
  • All members of the public must maintain Social Distancing protocols and will be courteously reminded to do so.
  • Any member of the public who refuse to follow these guidelines will be asked to leave the library and possibly incur a suspension of privileges. Staff will be given scripts to aid in explaining protocols to the public.
  • Until further notice, public in-person programs are suspended at the library. Note: Limited, masked and socially distanced in-person programs resumed July 7, 2021.
  • Virtual programming will continue to expand and will be sustained to some degree in the event of another possible closing, regardless of whether pandemic rated or not.
  • The children’s area will not be accessible to the public, and caregivers must remain with children under their care while in the library. Staff will retrieve requested children’s materials for patrons upon request. All toys, bean bag chairs, and similar will be unavailable and in storage until further notice.  Note: Children’s area reopened for browsing in May 2021 and limited programming July 2021.
  • Patrons will not be able to browse the stacks, but may request library staff retrieve materials to borrow.
  • Patrons will present and hold their library cards in order for staff to scan them in order to avoid hand contact.
  • Additional services to the public will include: faxing, copying, printing services via e-print. Staff only will operate machines to minimize public contact with machines.
  • The number of public computer stations will temporarily be reduced from 8 to 4 in order to maintain Social Distancing protocols.
  1. Hand sanitizer will be provided at each station.
  2. Patron time at computer will be limited to 30 minutes, unless no other patrons are awaiting an opening.
  3. Patrons will be advised to call ahead to schedule computer time in 30-minute intervals on a first-come-first-served basis.
  4. Patrons will sign in to use computers at the circulation desk so staff may remind patron when time expires (again only if others are waiting).
  5. Universal keyboard covers will be installed on all staff and public computers.
  6. Stations will be given an immediate and deliberate cleaning by staff after being vacated prior to next patron’s use.
    • Disinfect keyboard cover, mouse, countertop, pens, and plexiglass shield to either side of station.
    • Staff will log patron computer time on a central log at circulation desk, then transpose the times onto library’s typical sheets used for NYS’s annual reports.

Note: Computer use is not overwhelming, so limits on time are not enforced.

Phase 4: Expansion of Library Services to the Public

  • If, at a future date, the Governor of New York State, the New York State Department of Health, and the Hamilton County Public Health department conclude that the current health crisis, the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, has reached a level that it is safe to resume “normal” day-to-day activities, the library will resume its regular, pre-health-crisis hours and work schedule.
  • Patrons will have access to all areas of the library they had prior to 2020 health crisis. Note: Patron in-person browsing began again 3/17/21.
  • If this eventuality does occur, the library staff will still practice certain protocols that ensure they maintain a healthy work environment and personal health; such as:
  1. Maintain Social Distancing protocols; remind patrons of these protocols as necessary.
  2. Wear a mask that covers both nose and mouth while inside the library building, remind patrons of this policy if they enter unmasked.
  3. Wash hands frequently and/or use hand sanitizer.
  4. Cough or sneeze into the crook of one’s arm.
  5. Disinfect common areas used by the public and staff regularly during the course of the day.
  6. Accurately complete a daily health screening.
  7. Use Common Sense when dealing with the public and be aware of one’s current health situation; when in doubt, call in for a sick day, and contact a health care provider.
  8. If a staff member has been possibly exposed to COVID-19, or is exhibiting any of the symptoms,  said staff will need to provide proof of a negative test before returning to work.

Re-opening plan reviewed and approved by Library Board of Trustees on June 2, 2020.

Updated June 9, 2020.

Revised August 19, 2021, approved by Indian Lake Library Board of Trustees 8/19/21.