COVID Reopening plan

Paola Free Library Phased Reopening Plan as it Pertains to Patrons

Updated 8/13/20:

Addendum 1: Per City of Paola Ordinance No. 3161, no patrons 6 years of age and older will be admitted inside the library without a properly-fitting face covering. If a patron does not have a face covering, staff will crack the door and hand them one. If a patron removes a face covering or is wearing a face covering improperly inside the library, they will be asked once to correct the situation before they are asked to leave the library. 

Addendum 2: At any point during Paola Free Library’s reopening process, the progress of phases may be halted or stepped back if the Board of Trustees and the Library Director determine that there is a change in the current health situation in Miami County that warrants increased caution, an insufficient amount of cleaning materials or PPE available to patrons and staff, or an insufficient amount of staff available to run the library. If any of these situations occur, the Library Director will contact the Board Chairperson first and they will determine how the library should proceed.

Phase 1:

  • The building will be closed to the public, but curbside services will be offered.
  • Home delivery will be available to high-risk patrons only and by appointment.
  • Call-in and curbside pickup hours will be Mondays: 9 a.m.-11 a.m., Tuesday-Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Saturdays: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Patrons will be instructed to return items in the book drop only.
  • Returned items will be quarantined for 3 days.
  • Late fines under $10.00 will not prevent a patron from checking out materials. This allows for easier curbside transactions.
  • Donations will not be accepted.
  • The statewide library courier may not be running, so patrons may only be able to reserve items owned by Paola Free Library.

Phase 2:

  • The building will still be closed to the general public, but we will offer reservations for access to computers and the copier/fax machine inside the library in addition to the same curbside services we offered in Phase 1.
  • Patrons will not be guaranteed more than 45 minutes of computer, copier or fax use. Social distancing measures will be in place inside the library.
  • Computer stations and the copier/fax machine will be sanitized between each use.
  • There will be no browsing of the shelves or use of The Friends of the Library Book and Coffee Nook or Reading Rooms.
  • Home delivery will be available to high-risk patrons only and by appointment.
  • Call-in and pick up hours will remain the same as in Phase 1. Patrons will still be instructed to return items in the book drop only.
  • Returned items will immediately go into quarantine for 3 days.
  • The statewide library courier may not be running, so patrons may only be able to reserve items owned by Paola Free Library.
  • Staff will wear reusable cloth masks inside the building and masks will be offered to patrons (to keep, not borrow).
  • The library will still have a $10.00 threshold for late fines.
  • No indoor library programs, club meetings, or meeting room reservations will be allowed. One study room for adults and one study room for youth will be available to reserve, but their capacity will be limited to 2 individuals (up to four if they are members of the same household).
  • Donations will not be accepted.

Phase 2.5 (to start Friday, August 14th barring any unforeseen circumstances)

1. Monday business hours will now be 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (These hours will begin on Monday, 8/24 due to the need to train young employees that have not had the chance to learn new safety protocols yet). The rest of the library’s temporarily-reduced hours will remain the same as they were in Phase 2.

  • The library will offer all the same services it offered in Phase 2, but will add browsing reservations.
  • There will be 30-minute-long browsing reservations available on the hour from the time the library opens to one hour before it closes. Patrons will be given a 10 minute warning and a five minute warning before their time is up. Browsing the free book shelf must be done within the 30-minute reservation. Staff must have a 30-minute window in-between browsing reservations in which to sanitize high-traffic areas inside the library.
  • There will be one browsing reservation at a time for the entire library collection and browsing will be available by reservation only, no walk-ups will be admitted for browsing. Browsing reservations must be made at least 30 minutes before the reservation is to take place.
  • A browsing reservation consists of a single person aged 11 or older, or up to 5 members of the same household, including at least one adult.
  • If the amount of patrons in the building reaches 10 (including computer, copier/fax, and study room reservations), further reservations will be suspended until the number of patrons is less than 10.
  • Browsing reservations are for shelf browsing and checking out items ONLY. Most furniture will be off limits to patron use and computer, copier/fax and study room reservations must be made separately. Certain areas of the library will also be closed to patrons.
  • In order to prevent the transfer of germs from patron to patron or patron to staff, patrons will be asked not to reshelf any items they pull from the shelf, but to place them in one of the many available reshelf carts, so that the items may be properly quarantined. Staff wearing disposable gloves will check these items out to quarantine and place them in a tub. The items will be taken out of quarantine at the end of the fourth day after being placed into quarantine.
  • If a patron chooses not to follow library rules, fails to supervise their child, or they are rude to staff, they will be asked to leave for the day and a note will be made on their account. If incidents with a particular patron continue, the Library may refuse inside service to that patron for a period of time to be decided upon by the Library Director and the Board of Trustees on a case-by-case basis. If incidents with multiple patrons occur within a short period of time, the Library Director may suspend browsing reservations until the Board of Trustees can meet to discuss the issue.
  • There will be no eating or drinking in the library. Capped water bottles inside study rooms are acceptable.
  • The library will continue to ask patrons to return items in the outside book drop only.
  • Donations will not be accepted.
  • The library will continue to have a higher threshold for fines and reduced costs for printing, copying and faxing in order to minimize the amount that staff has to handle money. There should be an adequate amount of disposable gloves for staff to wear if they cannot avoid handling patron money or cards. Patrons should place their library cards barcode side up on the counter to be scanned and place money on the counter for a staff member wearing gloves to collect. The staff member will place the money in a dated envelope to be quarantined for four days.
  • At this time, the library is not conducting any programs inside the building and the meeting room is not available.
  • One study room is available for adults and teens aged 14 and older and one study room for youth, but their capacity will be limited as follows: No more than two adults or teens aged 14 or older (one group) are allowed in the adult study room at one time. No more than one youth aged 11 or older, one youth and one tutor (with permission from the youth’s guardian), or up to five members of the same household including at least one youth and no more than two adults are allowed in the youth study room at one time.
  • No puzzles, games, stuffed animals or arts and crafts materials will be left out for patron use, but take-home craft kits will be available for youth.
  • The Microfilm reader will be handled by staff only. Requests for specific articles, photos or records for specific people within a given date-range must be made via e-mail or over the phone. Patrons will allow at least four business days for staff to complete their search.

Phase 3:

  • The library will return to its normal business hours and the building will be open to the public, but the amount of people allowed in the building at one time may be limited (in accordance with the Miami County Health Department’s guidelines).
  • Patrons will only be guaranteed 45 minutes of computer use and there may still be a limited amount of computers available if we still need to practice social distancing.
  • Each computer and the copier will be sanitized by staff after each use.
  • If requested, the library may continue offering curbside pick-up and home delivery for patrons at high risk only.
  • Returned items may still be quarantined if it is deemed necessary.
  • The normal procedures for fines will return.
  • Patrons will be allowed to pick up and return items inside the building
  • Patrons will be able to browse the shelves, but will be asked to place any items they have pulled from the shelves in re-shelve carts placed around the library, rather than re-shelve the items themselves.
  • Staff may still be required to wear reusable cloth facemasks and the library may still offer them to patrons (to keep, not borrow).
  • Library programs will either take place in a larger area or outside in accordance with social distancing guidelines. RSVPs may be necessary to attend some programming.
  • No puzzles, toys, games, stuffed animals or arts and crafts supplies will be set out in the library. Arts and crafts kits will be available for children to take home (and keep).
  • Study room and meeting room occupancy may be reduced in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Club meetings may require the entire meeting room rather than one study room.
  • Donations will not be accepted.

Phase 4:

  • The library would return to business as normal as much as possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines if necessary.
  • Materials might still be quarantined if it is deemed necessary.
  • If the quarantining of items is discontinued, then staff will sanitize all returned items.

101 E. Peoria, Paola, KS 66071 913-259-3655