Five Ways to Protect Your Library


1. Create a plan for reopening your library.

Yes, there is a future for your library and your community! Although dates will be fluid, creating a structure for reopening -- with considerations for materials handling, check in, social distancing, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a phased reopening, and more -- will go a long way in showing library boards, city councils, institutional administrators, and other decision-makers that the library will be ready to meet new and evolving needs of the community. It will also reassure staff that necessary steps will be taken to ensure safety and eventual return of normal library service. See Resources for Reopening

2. Work with your team to spread the word.

Library leadership, be sure to involve your staff at all levels: they have hands-on knowledge and work frontline with the public, so they can be helpful in this manner even while they're at home. All library employees, be sure to work in a coordinated manner with your leadership for the strongest, most consistent message possible from the library.

3. Engage your allies.

Talk to trustees, friends groups, unions, and campus or community partners -- especially those who have influence with your decision-makers -- and ask them to help spread the word that the library is still offering services to meet community and educational needs. 

4. Let your decision-makers know what the library is doing during this crisis.

With doors to the physical buildings closed, it’s important to increase visibility. See Libraries During the Stay at Home Order: Talking Points

5. Ensure that decision-makers understand that the library needs to operate at full capacity *after* this crisis.

History shows us that in times of crisis, people turn to their libraries more than ever.Community members will look to the library for assistance as they struggle with unemployment, small business failures, and other issues. Faculty and students will look to the library for assistance with teaching and learning tools, research and literature searching, and technology tools and support.
 The minute they reopen, libraries will need a full staff trained and ready to meet all these needs. See Practical Considerations.

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