This tab contains information to support library governance and administration through the COVID-19 Pandemic.
For more information see the pages below:
MHLS will provide Director Briefings to ensure library directors have up-to-date information about MHLS services, news from NYS, and answers to frequently asked questions the MHLS staff have been fielding from member libraries.
Registration is no longer required for this event. Log-in information will be sent via the MHLS-Notice List the morning of each briefing.
Library Specific Resources
- Pandemic Policy
- Development Questions:
- Criteria for closing the library
- Employee policies for sick leave, payroll, and banking/financial issues, working from home
- Mandated documentation of procedures or cross-training so others can take over for sick employees.
- Policies for social distancing — that is, removing a number of chairs so people aren’t sitting close to each other, or limiting the number of people who can come in at any one time, or taking out coat racks, and similar things that keep people and their belongings separate from each other.
- Criteria for suspending story times and other library programs.
- Provision of masks and gloves along with the training of staff in their removal and disposal.
- Standards for the cleaning of bathrooms, railings and door knobs, telephones, keyboards, counters, and cleaning of workstations/offices of employees who go home sick, emptying of wastebaskets, etc.
- Setting a schedule for seeing to the critical needs of the facility if the library is closed for an extended time (boiler and building checks by custodians, book drop, payroll and banking considerations).
- Communications plan for reaching staff and for communicating with the public
- Means for continuing to provide information services for the public, such as online ordering of materials and pick up from a table in the lobby at certain times, or expansion of online services
- Accommodation of the needs of poor people in the community who may not have a home subscription to the local newspaper or a working home computer
- Education of the public in advance of an epidemic
- Sample Policies:
- Computer Use
- Sample Policies
Desmond-Fish Public Library Computer Use Policy
Public computer access may be unavailable or available with limited or restricted use in compliance with relevant law, Executive Orders, and public health and safety guidelines.
Laptops and wifi hotspots may be circulated with an extended loan period of one month. A 72 to 168 hour quarantine will be in place for all returned equipment to accommodate any necessary maintenance or reformatting between patrons.
- Patron Code of Conduct
Sierra & Tech Support Documentation
Update June 12
- Full restart of 5-day-a-week delivery services: Monday, June 22.
- Drivers will only stop at libraries who have reported they are open that week.
Update April 17
- The Governor has extended New York on PAUSE through May 15th. Accordingly we have extended the temporary suspension of MHLS Delivery Services, ILL, and in-person events to this date as well.
Update April 6
- We have extended the temporary suspension of MHLS Delivery and ILL Services to April 29th in line with the Governor’s latest announcement. If your closed dates have changed since the last time you let us know, please use this online form to update your closure dates and don’t forget to put a ticket in to firstname.lastname@example.org to change your closed dates.
Update March 24
- In consultation with the leadership of the Directors Association and MHLS Board we will extend the temporary suspension of MHLS Delivery & ILL Services through April 19th, 2020 in alignment with the NYS Executive Order 202.8.
- A reassessment of this date will be undertaken the week of April 13th.
Update March 15
In the face of the unprecedented spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the corresponding action by federal, state, county, local and library officials in the past week, the Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) will temporarily suspend holds and the delivery system this week.
This decision was developed in consultation with MHLS staff, the leadership of the MHLS Directors Association and the MHLS Board of Trustees. As you can imagine, this decision was not taken lightly. A combination of public health concerns as well as the logistic realities of our cooperative public library system call for this measure to support the majority of our libraries who have decided to suspend public services during this challenging time.
Suspension of Holds and Delivery Services to Member Libraries:
- Holds will be suspended effective 3:00pm Monday, March 16, 2020 for all libraries.
- Existing holds will also be suspended at this time, and will be unsuspended when delivery resumes.
- For member libraries who have notified MHLS staff of their intent to close on or before Monday, March 16, 2020 delivery will be suspended on Monday, March 16, 2020.
- Delivery will be suspended for all remaining member libraries effective Thursday, March 19, 2020. The last day of regular delivery will be Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
- Delivery Services will be suspended until at least Tuesday, March 31, 2020 with a reassessment of these services conducted by MHLS staff, the leadership of the MHLS Directors Association and the MHLS Board of Trustees by Friday, March 27, 2020.
Human Resources & Sick Leave
- Ask the Lawyer: Can libraries, using public money, pay part-time staff if they are either forced to close due to the COVID-19 or if the employee is forced to self-quarantine?, Western New York Library Resources Council
- HR Legal Issues Webinar Series: NYS Sexual Harassment Prevention Law & NYS Family Paid Leave Act (Recorded Webinar) presented by Shari Fallon, PHR, SHRM-CP, Cornell University [2.19.19]
- State and Federal COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave FAQ
- New York State
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- FFCRA Tax Credits Extended, The National Law Review
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers, Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor
- H.R. 6201, FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT Title-By-Title Summary, Democratic staff of the House Committee on Appropriations and the House Committee on Education and Labor
- Employee Rights Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family And Medical Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act Poster, Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor
- Federal Family First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law, Proskauer
- DOL outlines small-business exemption from coronavirus paid leave law, HR Dive
- Temporary Non-Enforcement Period Applicable to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), U.S. Department of Labor
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ, Faegre Drinker
- Families First Caronavirus Response Act text, Wage and Hour Division U.S. Department of Labor
CARES Act 1 – The CARES Act has several programs that may help support library operations including the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit, and more.
- Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act CARES Act (Pub. L. 116-136), National Council of Non-Profits
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship
- Loans Available for Nonprofits in the CARES Act, National Council of Non-Profits
- Paycheck Protection Program, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
- PPP Borrower Information Fact Sheet
- Paycheck Protection Program Application
- SBA Paycheck Protection Program Issues for Museums and Libraries, Institute of Museum and Library Services
- A Section-by-Section for Unemployment Insurance and Tax Policy in the CARES Act
- A Section-by-Section for Health Policy in the CARES Act
- A Section-by-Section for Appropriation in the CARES Act
- 7 Ways CARES Act Financially Supports Nonprofits, The Nonprofit Times
- Federal Coronavirus Relief Bills: What Do They Mean for Nonprofits? Recorded Webinar, National Council of Non-Profits
- GUIDE: How to get a forgivable loan for your nonprofit under the CARES act, Freewill
- Non-Profit Guide to Accessing Capital through the 2020 CARES Act, Kresge Foundation
- Financial Relief: COVID-19 CARES Act Overview for Youth Service Providers Recorded Webinar, Youth Collaboratory
CARES Act 2 – The CARES Act was renewed for 2021 and includes the Paycheck Protection Program, which organizations may use to receive a first or second forgivable loan, Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit, and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
- Reopening Checklist
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Supply of appropriate cleaning products
- Appoint COVID-19 coordinator
- Cleaning Protocols
- Employee Screening Procedure
- Cleaning Log
- Employee & Visitor Log
- Facility Prep
- Social distancing markers
- Quarantine storage
- Safety Plan (see NYS Template)
- Communication Plan
- “Proactive Infection Plan” (see MHLS Template)
- Employee Dress
- Patron Code of Conduct
- Meeting Room
- Computer Use
- Staff Training Plan
- Reopening Plan Template
- Pandemic Response Plan/Health Emergency Plan Templates
- Reopening FAQ for Member Libraries 06.12.2020
- Reporting Reopening to MHLS
- New York State
- New York State Regional Council Map, New York State
- Regional Guidelines for Re-Opening New York Web Site, New York State
- Regional Guidelines for Reopening New York, New York State
- Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID-19, New York State Department of Health
- NY Forward Business Reopening Safety Plan Template, New York State Department of Health
- Curbside In-Store Retail Guidelines for Employers and Employees, New York State Department of Health
- Interim Guidance for Curbside And In-Store Pickup Retail Business Activities During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency, New York State Department of Health
- Interim Guidance for Essential & Phase II Retail Business Activities During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency, New York State Department of Health
- Interim Guidance for Office-based Work During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, New York State Department of Health
- Interim Guidance for Hair Salons and Barbershops During the Covid-19 Public Health Emergency, New York State Department of Health
- New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool, New York State
- STLS Guidance & Considerations for Reopening Libraries, Southern Tier Library System
- RCLS Reopening Plan – Ramapo Catskill Library System
- Reopening of Libraries, New York State Division of Library Development
- Rochester Public Library Re-Opening Plan May 28 Update, Rochester Public Library
- East Greenbush Community Library
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes, Environmental Protection Agency & the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Infographic Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes, Environmental Protection Agency & the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- A FACILITIES MANAGER’S GUIDE TO REOPENING AND OCCUPYING BUILDINGS SAFELY, FMLink
- Curbside Pickup Examples
- Curbside Services, Pikes Peak Library District
- Curbside pickup service, Hennepin County Library
- List of Sources for Lockers, Danbury, CT Library
- Curbside Pickup, Rochester Public Library, NY
- Curbside Pickup, Onondaga County Public Libraries, NY
- Allen County Library Public Library, IN
- Rochester Public Library, MN
- Sacramento Public Library, CA
- State of Rhode Island Office of Library & Information Services, RI
- Guidance from Other States
- Suggestions for Reopening of Libraries – 3-23-2020, German Library Association
- Guidelines for Libraries Considering Curbside Service and/or Phased Reopening, Reaching Across Illinois Library System
- Plan Outline in Phases from Library Closure to Reopening – COVID-19 Global Pandemic, Indiana Library Federation
- Tentative Reopen Plan (DRAFT 2), Midlothian Public Library
- COVID-19 LIBRARY BUILDING REOPENING: PHASED PLAN, Oak Park Public Library
- New Mexico Staged Reopening Plan, New Mexico Libraries
- OLC Public Library Reopening Roadmap, Ohio Library Council
- Sign Templates, Ohio Library Council
- Coronavirus & Public Libraries Resources: Communications Guide, South Carolina State Library
- Minimum Standard Health Protocol, Texas
- Utah Libraries Plan for Moving Towards Full Service, Utah State Library Division
- Curbside and Book Delivery Service Guidelines, Vermont Department of Libraries
- GUIDANCE STATEMENT 2020-2 Reopening the Library April 27, 2020, West Virginia Library Commission
- Guidelines for Reopening WI Public Libraries Timeline, Wisconsin Libraries
- Best Practices for Reopening NJ Libraries [ Last update: May 5, 2020 ], Taskforce On Post COVID-19 Alignment, Trends and Strategies (TOPCATS)
- Workplace Safety
Marketing of Online Resources
We have pulled together marketing materials that you can use to promote your online collection and resources to patrons that may not be able to access the physical library. Buttons and images for e-resources are available for you to use on your own websites or to be requested for hosted sites.
Google has announced Google Ad Grants. If you’re a qualifying nonprofit, you’ll receive $10,000 USD in in-kind Google Ads advertising every month.
Your library card gives you access to over 1,100 children’s books through @TumbleBooks. These animated, talking picture books teach kids the joy of reading. Get started at [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE]
Click here to download the moving image file.
Use your library card to access over 1,100 children’s books through @tumblebooklibrary. Visit our website to get started. #ebook #childrensbooks #kidsbooks #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community
Your library card gives you access to over 1,100 children’s books through @TumbleBooks. Start reading with your child today, [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE]
Social Media Text
@universalclass offers 500+ lifelong learning classes online. All you need is your library card to start learning whenever it’s convenient for you. Get started at https://midhudson.org/universalclass
All you need is a library card to start learning! Universal Class has more than 500 lifelong learning classes to choose from. Visit our website to get started. #onlinelearning #learning #learnsomethingneweveryday #elearning #libraries #librariesofinstagram #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community
@universalclass is available to all MHLS member library patrons! Your library card gives you access to more than 500 online courses. Start today, https://midhudson.org/universalclass
Use your library card to start a conversation with @MangoLanguages. Choose from over 70 languages and learn how to speak with people around the world. Get started at [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE]
Start a conversation with @mangolanguages. Your library card gives you access to lessons for over 70 languages. Visit our website to get started. #language #learning #conversation #insta #instabest #bestoftheday #photooftheday #fun #love #community
Your library card gives you access to lessons for more than 70 languages with @MangoLanguages. Start reading with your child today, [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE]
Only our building is closed. Your local library is still here for you! Use your library card to get online resources 24/7. Need a library card? We’ve got you covered. To register for a library card visit [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE]
Your local library is still here for you! Use your library card to access online resources 24/7. Don’t have a library card? No problem. Visit our website to register online and start exploring all your library has to offer. #library #librariesofinstagram #community
The building may be closed but your local library is always here for you! Access online resources 24/7 with your library card. Need a library card? Register online. Get started at [INSERT LIBRARY WEBSITE]
We have collected the following resources to help you engage with your patrons online. We will be updating this list so check back!
Includes feature and pricing review.
Zoom Meeting Best Practice
There has been a lot of debate over whether or not authors have permission to allow people to read their books online. Given the potential concerns about copyright, we are recommending that if you have a virtual storytime, you only read books that publishers have given people permission to read.
Amigos Library Services has provided access to the archived webinar Know & Go: Spotlight on Virtual Storytimes. This can be helpful if you want to host a virtual storytime but aren’t sure where to start.
Google has provided a webpage on how to Teach from Home with tools to help you host a virtual storytime if you have access to G Suite.
If you’re camera-shy or don’t have the technology to host a virtual storytime, there are plenty of videos online of actors, authors, and even astronauts reading stories for you to share with your community.
Storyline Online – Watch celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
Storytime from Space – Watch astronauts read books in the International Space Station.
The Spanish Experiment – Well-known children’s stories are translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Read along in Spanish or English.
The Fable Cottage – The Fable Cottage features high quality, modern retellings of classic fables in languages like Spanish, German, and French.
Pete the Cat Virtual Storytime – Pete the Cat creator James Dean has been hosting live readings and drawing tutorials on Instagram every day.
Save with Stories – Actors and actresses read a different story on Instagram every day.
Mac Barnett will be reading a book aloud each day at 3 pm ET on Instagram.
Oliver Jeffers will be reading one of his books every weekday at 2 pm ET on Instagram.
Dav Pilkey at Home – Dav Pilkey at Home will feature new video content created by Pilkey himself on Friday mornings at 8 a.m. ET on social media channels and the websites of the Library of Congress and Scholastic.
Free ebooks about the Coronavirus – This collection of free ebooks for kids includes books both in English and Spanish.
Universal Class – All libraries in our system have access to Universal Class. Universal Class brings libraries lifelong learning courses in over 30 subject areas, many of which offer continuing education units (CEUs). More than 500 courses are available, and all are designed and led by professional instructors to build deeper understanding and mastery of subject matter. Universal Class includes videos, assignments, quizzes, tests, and options for social media interaction with other learners. Patrons may take multiple classes and learn at their own pace.
New York Genealogical and Biographical Society Free Webinars – From March 17 through April 3, 2020 the NYG&B will be offering free webinars on genealogy and New York history.
Scholastic Learn At Home – Scholastic is offering these free classes for children. Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers.
Imagineering in a Box – This is a free online program that brings together the diverse talents of Disney Imagineers around the world for a one-of-a-kind learning experience. The series offers 32 videos in which Imagineers share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – to create immersive experiences.
Hour of Code – Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages.
Online Cookery School – These videos and recipes take patrons by the hand, step by step. They can learn to cook in their own time and at their own pace.
College Admissions and GED Test Preparation Resources from EBSCO LearningExpress – Free access through June 30, 2020
Skype a Scientist – Skype a Scientist matches scientists with people all around the world! Families at home during this pandemic can get a scientist virtually into their living room and learn about all sorts of topics.
Virtual Coding Clubs – Free drop-in coding club sessions to help support students and educators during this time of school and library closures.
Live Virtual Concerts – NPR has curated this list of live virtual concerts people can watch online. The list is updated regularly.
Live Classical Concerts – The New York Classical Review has a list of streaming classical events, mostly free, that are available online.
Center for Puppetry Arts – The Center for Puppetry Arts has expanded its Digital Learning platform to include live streaming. Enjoy curriculum-based workshops and Digital Learning interactive puppet shows from the safety and comfort of home.
Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems – Mo Willems is hosting a daily livestream doodle session for kids at 1:00 EST
Draw Everyday with JJK – Jarrett J. Krosoczka is hosting a drawing studio on weekdays at 2 pm.
Berkner Breaks with the Laurie Berkner Band – Laurie Berkner is hosting concerts from her living room on weekday mornings. Join Laurie on Facebook Live at 10 am EST or catch up later.
SafariLIVE – WildEarth runs expert-hosted live safaris in the heart of the African wilderness. Experience one of the most beautiful places on earth and interact with their experts in real-time.
Trevor Zoo in Millbrook, NY – At 4:00 PM every Wednesday, join the Trevor Zoo staff for a fun-filled, educational experience.
Virtual Marine Biology Camp – Scientists running Seattle-based Oceans Initiative are streaming videos Monday and Thursday at 11 a.m. PST and providing activities to help families occupy some time while kids are out of school due to the coronavirus.
Stay At Home Online Concerts – Stay at Home Fest harnesses the power of the internet for good, by creating a central hub to find all the fantastic decentralized events that are happening online, and aiding music discovery during the global pandemic.
Drawdown EcoChallenge – Drawdown EcoChallenge provides tools and inspiration to turn intention into action and gives participants a fun and social way to think about and act on proven solutions to reverse global warming. Over eighty actions within seven challenge categories provide participants with diverse options to reduce carbon usage.
Create an Online Book Group – Using Facebook or Goodreads, make an online book group where members can meet virtually.
Zooniverse – Challenge your patrons to contribute to scientific research! The Zooniverse is a platform for people-powered research. This research is made possible by volunteers — more than a million people around the world who come together to assist professional researchers. Zooniverse research results in new discoveries, datasets useful to the wider research community, and many publications.
Kahoot Trivia – Host an online trivia event using Kahoot! You can make up your own trivia questions or use a set of questions made by another Kahoot user. Kahoot will be hosting two webinars on how to host a game remotely, one on March 20, and one on March 24.
NASA’s GLOBE Observer App – Through NASA’s GLOBE Observer app, libraries can help patrons and families become citizen scientists helping NASA track changes in clouds, water, plants, and other life in support of Earth system science research while practicing physical distancing and engaging with nature.