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Operations and Planning

Reopening Plans

Following the initial shift to virtual programs and offerings, libraries have begun the uncertain process of planning for re-opening. With fluctuating timelines and varying guidance from state and local government, many libraries have begun drafting phased reopening plans.

These libraries include:

  • Hood River County Library District (pop. 24,735) in Oregon developed a three-phase reopening strategy that includes a staged opening of the building, distribution of materials from the parking lot to the lobby and quarantine of returned materials.
  • Vernon Area Public Library District (pop. 41,055) in Illinois developed a three-level approach to opening, from temporary closure to precautionary health measures. Their plan outlines communication to the public and staff about these changes.
  • John Thill of Meridian Library District (pop. 105,940) in Idaho has outlined different phased reopening strategies for distancing circumstances, including a stay-at-home order, limits to gatherings of 10 and 50 and no limitations.
  • Jackson County Library Services (pop. 210,975) in Oregon has released their six-stage reopening plan to the public, which includes changes to their physical spaces and limitations on the number of individuals allowed in each building.
  • Chattahoochee Valley Libraries (pop. 236,832) in Georgia plan to begin their reopening on May 18, beginning with curbside pick up at their main branch only, with specific distancing and disinfecting measures in place. The system plans on reopening with curbside pick up only at all branches.
  • The Missouri State Library has developed a guideline for reopening that spans four phases that include activities related to staff training/orientation and limited, low-contact services.
  • The Wisconsin Division for Libraries and Technology published a live document that captures their ongoing reopening guidance for libraries. Their model spans five service levels with suggested services and considerations.

Reopening Guidance

Data Fluency

As your library operations have moved virtual, there is an important need for updating any data collection. This ultimately allows you to measure and showcase the value your library is providing to your local community during this crisis. Many state libraries have provided guidance on how to measure virtual program engagement, whether through live programming views or recording views. This guidance provides you a baseline for measuring engagement and impact, but additional data points can support your planning and impact measurement.

The current crisis and evolving operations may present an opportunity to begin conversations around data fluency and data engagement internally.