INTRODUCTION

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting State of Emergency declared by Governor Charlie Baker forced the Cary Library building to close to the public as of March 13, 2020.

Virtual library services were put in place, developed and provided through the talents and creativity of the library’s extraordinary staff. Services included virtual programming for youth and adults via Facebook Live and Zoom as well as email reference, readers’ advisory, and e-content collection development. Our virtual services will continue for as long as they are needed as we begin discussions about resuming services in our building.

There are many environmental factors that we will continue to weigh in our decision making. A phased, evidence-based approach is required where the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, volunteers, and staff guides our progress toward a full restoration of services. 

This document will evolve as information changes.

REOPENING PHASES DEFINITIONS

Phase 1 - Staff begins to return to the building in shifts

Timing - June 8 - June 26, 2020

The library remains closed to the public. Staff come in to prepare to reopen the buildings. Timeframe is approximately three weeks.

Public Health Context: Stay-at-home order is lifted by state and local authorities but other restrictions are still in place. Physical distancing is recommended. Infection risks are still high. Supplies are limited and restocking ability is uncertain. Large gatherings are not permitted.

Summary

  • The Cary Library building remains closed to the public
  • Managers/Technology team will report for the first few days to prepare spaces, collections and technology
  • Staff will report to work on a rotating basis (TBD) to process the backlog of new and returned materials
  • Staff required to wear masks while working in the building
  • Staff continue to work remotely when not in the building
  • All library programming is delivered virtually

 
Phase 2 - Curbside pickup of materials is offered 

Timing  - week of June 29, 2020 - November 28, 2020

The library building remains closed to the public. Library patrons may arrange to pick up materials they have placed on reserve. Timeframe is TBD.

Public Health Context: Physical distancing is recommended and the risk of infection is still high. The library has sufficient supplies to comply with safety recommendations for limited interaction with the public, but supply needs and availability are uncertain. Large gatherings are not permitted.

Summary: 

  • The Cary Library (building) remains closed to the public
  • Patrons can pick up requested library materials during certain hours (method TBD)
  • Patrons looking for recommendations of what to read/view/listen may contact staff through our What’s Next Readers’ Advisory service
  • Staff will continue to work on a rotation so that social distancing is maintained
  • Staff required to wear masks while working in the building
  • Staff continue to work remotely when not in the building
  • Delivery between libraries resumes (TBD - depending on Mass Library Service guidance)
  • All library programming is delivered virtually


Phase 2 (Updated for Winter) - Materials Pickup 

Timing  - December 4, 2020 - April 22, 2021

The library building remains closed to the public. Library patrons may arrange to pick up materials they have placed on reserve. Timeframe is TBD.

Public Health Context: Physical distancing is recommended and the risk of infection is still high. The library has sufficient supplies to comply with safety recommendations for limited interaction with the public, but supply needs and availability are uncertain. Large gatherings are not permitted.

Summary: 

  • The Cary Library (building) remains closed to the public
  • Patrons can pick up requested library materials in the library’s South Lobby vestibule by appointment. NOTE: This service will remain through winter unless staff are ordered to work from home
  • Patrons looking for recommendations of what to read/view/listen may contact staff through our What’s Next] Readers’ Advisory service
  • Staff will continue to work in the building unless ordered by the Governor or Town Manager to work remotely
  • Staff required to wear masks while working in the building
  • Staff continue to work remotely when not in the building
  • Delivery between libraries will continue unless the Massachusetts Library Service deems it unsafe to do so 
  • All library programming is delivered virtually

 
Phase 3 - Library re-opens for materials browsing/pickup (grocery store model)

Timing - April 27, 2021 - June 15, 2021

The library will offer some open hours, likely on a reduced schedule. Patrons will be allowed to enter the building for the purpose of selecting materials to take home but seating will not be available.  Timeframe is TBD.

Public Health Context: Physical distancing is still recommended, but infections risks are declining. Supply needs are predictable and supplies are plentiful. 

Summary: 

  • The Cary Library is open limited hours
  • Physical changes to the building (plexiglas partitions at desks, social distancing signage, etc.) will be in place
  • Patrons may come into the building to browse for items and consult with staff
  • Seating will not be available and the total number of people in the building may be limited
  • Delivery to homebound patrons is available
  • Most staff have resumed regular schedules, a few may still be working from home or covering different hours as needed
  • Staff required to wear masks while working in the building unless public health officials determine they are not necessary
  • Meeting/Study rooms are not available
  • All library programming is delivered virtually

 
Phase 4 - Library resumes more extensive schedule, most seating restored

Timing - June 15, 2021 - Present

The majority of library services are reintroduced

Public Health Context: The state of emergency declared by Governor Baker has ended and most restrictions have been removed. Masks are still recommended for unvaccinated individuals. 

Summary: 

  • Physical changes to the building (plexiglas partitions at desks, social distancing signage, etc.) may remain in place
  • Service desks are staffed
  • Seating is reintroduced over the course of the summer
  • Desktop computers are available
  • Copy/scan/print services are available
  • Study rooms will become available in August
  • Laptops and iPads are not currently available
  • Meeting Rooms are not available until October
  • Masks requirements reflect Town and/or State mandates
  • Summer programming will be virtual with some in person programming being offered in outdoor spaces
  • Library is open regular hours, including Sundays (during school year)

 
Phase 5 - Library resumes full services 

Timing TBD  - Fall 2021

All library services are restored.  NOTE: Resumption of full services is highly dependent on the trajectory of the COVID-19 virus in the months ahead. The decision to resume full services, including large gatherings, will be made in consultation with local and state public health guidance.

Public Health Context: Infection rates have continued to decline and public health guidance has changed to allow for large gatherings.  

Summary: 

  • The Cary Library is open regular hours (inlcuding Sunday hours during school year)
  • All library seating is restored
  • All library computer services are restored
  • Meeting rooms are made available
  • School and other library outreach activities resume
  • Live programming by library staff resumes
  • Staff no longer required to use masks when working with the public

 Note: A draft of this document was adopted by the Library Board of Trustees on May 6, 2020. This document was last updated on September 7, 2021.

Workflow: 
Published