By Olivia Buck
With the spread of coronavirus, I think we’ve all been hearing questions like, “What will your library do?” This is especially true for outreach library staff. As the Home Delivery Coordinator for Bloomington Public Library, I know that many of the patrons who use my services are elderly or have health issues that put them at a higher risk for catching this virus. Out of concern for these patrons, I’ve started reading up on the best ways to prevent COVID-19 per the CDC’s most current information and I have been looking into how other libraries are handling their outreach services in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m not an expert on disease prevention, but these are the things that I am currently doing to help the patrons on my service. If you are also an outreach service provider, please share your ideas in the comment section on how your own library is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Of course, as the situation progresses, my current procedures may change to suit the needs of the patrons on the home delivery service.
- I am reaching out to each individual senior living and care facility which have residents that are recipients of this service. I am inquiring about the procedures that they are following regarding coronavirus and if they are currently planning on placing their facility under quarantine.
- For home delivery patrons who are living at home, I am writing a letter inquiring whether they feel comfortable continuing to receive deliveries or if they would like to suspend their service until the outbreak has been resolved.
- For any home delivery patrons that make the decision to suspend their service, I am extending due dates for two months.
- In addition, I am offering my home delivery patrons extra items to be brought on their next delivery date so that they can occupy their time if they decide to suspend their home delivery service.
For more information regarding coronavirus and prevention, please look at the CDC’s website, the Illinois Department of Health website, and your county’s health department website.
Illinois Department of Health: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus