WELD — This is what has been going on at the Library in order to slowly reopen to the public. These are the State Guidelines so they apply to all Libraries. Please take the time to read through them to gain a better understanding of what our librarians have been doing to give us at least the partial use of the library in these difficult times.

The Weld Public Library began the next phase re-opening on July 16. The prior plan, Curbside Services, will still be available. Along with our online catalog https://opac.libraryworld.com/ Weld Public Library & No Password Necessary. Please feel free to contact the library @ 585-2439, or  FaceBook Messenger, thru the Library FaceBook Page @ Weld Public Library Association, and the Library Email of [email protected], with any questions, or to make your appointment to visit the library.

When the Weld Free Public Library (WFPL) building reopens, the facility and its operations will meet the requirements of Federal, State and local executive orders and/or staged reopening schedules, Health Department guidance and the mandates of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. The reopening Plan will incorporate meaningful guidance from the American Library Association (ALA)and the Maine State Library (MSL), and it will place the health and safety of patrons, staff and volunteers above all other considerations.

The WFPL’s Reopening Plan will include the following considerations:

•Adaptation and clarification of library policies, schedules, and programs in response to Covid-19 exposure risks;

•Cleaning protocols and schedules; •Modifications within the facility and restricted accessibility to some areas and equipment;

•Needs for protective equipment and supplies;

•Staff training;

•Phased opening of the building and prioritization of services resumed;

•Potential long-term adjustments to services and programs;

•Communications with and engagement of the staff, board, volunteers and patron community;

•Potential triggers to reevaluate and revise the plan.

Refinement of WFPL policies, schedules and programs: The WFPL building will reopen to the public in a staged plan of gradually expanding access. In consideration of the specialized precautions necessary to protect patrons, staff and volunteers, the WFPL Board will update policies and practices as necessary to meet currently accepted standards for mitigating the risks of contracting and/or spreading the Covid-19 virus. Library services will also be evaluated and adjusted to address these concerns. While we will do our best to provide safe procedures and a sanitized environment when the library reopens, use of shared materials and/or shared spaces carries inherent risk. Patrons should be aware that we cannot provide an absolute guarantee of safety. During the initial reopening, several new policies will be in effect.

•Patrons will be required to preschedule desired library visits of no more than 30 minutes by calling the library (585-2439) during scaled-back library hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-6:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.. Only one patron or patron family will be permitted to enter the library at a time. If another person is not waiting to enter the library, the visit may be extended at the library director’s discretion. This strategy will remain in effect until the threat of Covid-19 transmission is reduced, until more effective treatments or a vaccine become available or until the ALA and MSL recommend less restrictive access to the library building.

•Patrons are asked to call the library before leaving home or upon arrival, so that the door may be opened for them. Those arriving when another patron is inside the library are respectfully requested to wait in their vehicles until the person before them has exited or until they are summoned inside by the library director.

•Please leave personal items in your vehicle.

•Prior to entering the facility, library users must wash their hands with hand sanitizer, available at a hand sanitizing station in the lobby. If wiping the sanitizer off, please discard tissues or wipes in the trashcan provided, Hand sanitizing upon departure is also suggested.

•Masks are strongly recommended for library users above the age of 2.

•Due to the inquisitive nature of children, parents are encouraged to gently try to limit their children’s touching of surfaces and library materials. Adults who inspect or peruse library materials that they or their children choose not to check out are requested to give those items to the library director at a designated location. The librarian will quarantine these items with other materials requiring time sanitization. Best practices recommend that library materials that have been touched must be time-sanitized for a period of from 72 hours at a minimum to a recommended 7-14 days. Considerable research has been devoted to this line of inquiry for Covid-safe material handling standards, and WFPL practices will adjust to newly emerging research counsel.

•Patrons will be limited to three library items per family member, per visit.

•Before leaving the building, and for their own protection, patrons are encouraged to again use hand sanitizer.

•Until further notice, all indoor library-sponsored educational, recreational and fundraising programs and activities are suspended.

•24/7 Wi-Fi access will remain available for patrons using their own devices.

•Curbside services will continue to be available for those who wish to use them and will follow policies established in the library’s Curbside Borrowing Guidelines.

•Interlibrary loan services are currently unavailable.

Cleaning Protocols and Schedules: The Library Director will clean and disinfect all high-touch library surfaces, including flat surfaces, doorknobs and handles, the circulation desk, and other areas that are heavily utilized. She will sanitize the restroom prior to the start of each day the library is scheduled to open. As time allows, she will wipe down the outdoor stair railings and use a spray disinfectant to sanitize outdoor furniture. While the library will do its best to provide routine cleaning and a sanitized and optimally safe library environment, the grounds are not routinely supervised and are therefore subject to potential contamination. Persons using outdoor furniture do so at their own risk. It is recommended that they exercise caution and bring sanitizing supplies with them. Weld Free Public Library generally has only the Library Director staffing the building. Her duties have vastly increased as the Covid-19 virus crisis has changed all of our lives. Patrons are advised that the use of shared spaces and/or shared materials carries inherent risk.

The Weld Free Public Library Association cannot provide an absolute guarantee of safety. Modifications within the Facility and Restricted Access to Some Areas and Equipment:

•A Plexiglass screen has been installed around the circulation desk.

•Patron access to the office area behind the circulation desk has been discontinued.

•For at least the initial period of reopening, library computers, printers, copiers and the telephone shall be limited to use by the Library Director.

•When and if the library opens to more than one patron or patron family, library users are expected to maintain safe distance intervals (i.e. following federally proscribed social distancing guidelines) within the library. Protective Equipment and Supplies: The library has purchased an initial supply of masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, and cleaning and disinfecting supplies for the Library Director’s use. Patrons are requested to supply their own face coverings. A touch-free, covered stainless steel wastebasket and trash can liners have been purchased for the hand-sanitizing station, and the restroom is equipped with a touch-free wastebasket. These items will be resupplied as necessary.

Staff Training: The Weld Free Public Library Director has received extensive Covid-19 contagion mitigation training from the Maine State Library in multiple and continuing Zoom meetings. She has internet and phone access to a host of internet and telephone guidance resources and has contributed to the development of the library’s Covid-19 policies. As additional guidance and State regulations emerge, she and the trustees will respond to evolving conditions and mandates. Until such time as the spread of the Covid-19 is deemed under manageable control, the library will suspend all indoor programs and activities involving groups of attendees and/or volunteers. Board meetings, trainings and policy discussions and votes shall be conducted via teleconferencing, telephone, and/or e-mail.

Agreements with The Maine State Library: WFPL receives extensive programmatic, advisory and service delivery support from the MSL. We value and depend upon this support and will endeavor to remain in lockstep with its guidance. Communications within the organization among the staff, trustees and representatives of the MSL will be conducted in person while masked and socially distanced or via teleconferencing, telephone and/or e-mail. Following approval by the library trustees and completion and acceptance of safety protocol requirements of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, WFPL will communicate its Covid-19 response plans to the community via the town-mail list-serv, Facebook posts and by publication in one or more local newspapers. Plan Adjustment Triggers: The WFPL Covid-19 Response Plan is meant to be a living document that may be adjusted as research and public health conditions evolve and as regulations and expert counsel advises. A variety of conditions and/or situations may trigger a need to revise the plan, such as the incidence of a regional local outbreak of Covid-19, new disease transmission evidence, new State Covid-19 related Executive Orders, etc. Public health and safety shall supersede all other considerations.

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