2.21 Pandemic Policy

The Chelmsford Public Library has established the following policy to follow in the event of a pandemic.

  1. The Chelmsford Public Library will close due to a pandemic in the event that there is a mandate or recommendation for closure issued by public health or government officials on the local, county, or state level.
  2. In the event of closure necessitated by a pandemic, effective communication about any reduction in services or open hours is of the utmost importance. Library staff will provide information about closures as quickly as possible via the library website, social media sites, outside the library, and the Town of Chelmsford website. Meeting room reservation contacts and others with scheduled appointments will be notified by phone and/or email as soon as possible.
  3. In the event of a closure necessitated by pandemic, some staff may be able to work from home as authorized by the Library Director with guidance from the Town. No staff may work from home without prior authorization.
  4. At the discretion of the Library Director in conjunction with the Library Board of Trustees, the Chelmsford Library may close, reduce its operating hours, or limit services temporarily (e.g. access to children’s department, programming, meeting rooms, MacKay Branch, etc.) in the event that there is not sufficient staff to maintain basic library service levels. Basic service level requires five staff plus a custodian (one of the five staff must be a department head, assistant director or director): at least 1 reference staff, at least 1 children’s services staff and at least 2 circulation staff. To minimize risk to patrons and staff, the MacKay Branch may be closed, or delayed in reopening, so all staff can work to provide library services from the Main Library.
  5. If reduced staffing, open hours, or services are required, library staff shall perform prioritized tasks that most directly impact patrons prior to any other work tasks. Tasks shall be done in this order of priority:
    1. Direct patron assistance: check out, curbside delivery, issuing library cards, computer and reference assistance, facility and collection supervision/safety.
    2. Patron related-tasks: check in, pull list, incoming delivery, and shelving.
    3. Workflow tasks: material orders, cataloging
    4. Essential services: payroll, processing bills for payment, Library Board meetings.
  6. All Library staff will certify each day that they are in good health according to guidelines from the Town of Chelmsford Health Department. If anyone becomes sick during their shift, they will be sent home.
  7. Disinfecting and/or cleaning procedures issued by public health officials will be followed as closely as possible. Library staff will be provided with disposable gloves, hand sanitizer, and surface disinfectants.
  8. When recommended by state and health officials, the Library may require patrons to wear masks and practice physical distancing. Signs will be posted during these times and patrons must adhere to these requirements while in the Library. Library resources and services, such as online resources and curbside pickup, will still be available for those patrons who choose not to wear masks and not to enter the building. Patrons unable to wear masks due to medical reasons should contact the Library Director.

Approved, Library Board of Trustees June 2020

Updated, Library Board of Trustees July 2020