Library Policy on Patron Use of Building During Covid-19 Pandemic – June 2021 edition

Libraries are busy places that serve the entire community, including populations that are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Libraries are also used in ways that carry the potential for respiratory diseases to spread easily: they invite people to linger, hang out, and gather while sharing spaces, equipment, and materials. This means that while COVID-19 continues to pose a significant public health risk, certain library services will be restricted and patrons will be asked to comply with all safety measures.

As always, the safety of the employees and the citizens of the community are of utmost importance and this policy strives to provide the maximum amount of library services while maintaining reasonable safety measures. This policy is created referencing guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Jefferson County Health Department, and the Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries and Technology. This policy is in place regardless of any state, county, or local ordinance.

To help ensure the safety of our employees and patrons, visitors to the building must adhere to the following six categories:

1. Mask and Face Coverings RECOMMENDED for patrons and staff who are unvaccinated:
Patrons age 5 and older who are unvaccinated are recommended to wear a facemask while in the library.
When a patron has a mask on within the building, staff will mirror their behavior by also wearing a mask when assisting that patron.
Masks may be reusable (cloth) or disposable (paper)
Masks must be worn over the mouth and nose at all times
Face shields, costume masks, and coverings with holes, mesh, or lace are not acceptable.

2. Modifications to a mask and face coverings:
For those who have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask, the Library has made the following modifications available:

  • Allow a person to wear a scarf or loose face covering instead of a face mask;
  • Offer curbside appointments for printing, copier, or faxing during regular operating hours.
  • Allow patrons to order online with no contact pick up in a timely manner.
  • Allow patrons to order by phone with no contact pick up in a timely manner.
  • Offer appointments by telephone or video calls.
  • Provide guidance on alternative sources for Internet connectivity.

3. Hygiene:
Proper hygiene is essential for everyone’s safety. Hand sanitizer is available throughout the building. Patrons are asked to wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, to sneeze/cough into their elbow or a tissue to be disposed of immediately, and to avoid touching their face.

4. Feeling Sick:
Patrons with COVID-19, fever, or other symptoms of COVID-19 may not enter the library. Patrons who display symptoms in the library may be asked to leave.

5. Reporting:
If you or someone in your household has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and you spent time in the library prior to the diagnosis, please report this fact to the Director. They will take appropriate action and contact the Jefferson County Health Department for guidance on disinfection, disclosure to exposed parties, and quarantine response.