Best Practices and Recommendations for Ohio’s Public Libraries under COVID-19

As we come out of this unprecedented pandemic, the Ohio Library Council has put together recommendations and best practices for public libraries in order to ensure a safe environment for staff and customers. Not all of Ohio’s public libraries are the same. This information is meant to serve as a guide and all templates can be customized to fit the needs of your library.

Best Practices and Recommendations for Ohio’s Public Libraries

Important Notes

  • Library employees should wear masks unless one of the exceptions apply.
  • Libraries can recommend or require patrons to wear masks unless one of the exceptions apply.
  • Maintain the required 6 feet social distancing guidelines.
  • Clean and sanitize workplaces throughout the day and at the close of business.
  • Increase availability for curb-side pickup or contact-less service.

ODH Requirements and Recommendations for Public Libraries

Face Mask/Facial Covering

Tools and Templates

Monitor traffic in and out of library. Limit library users to a safe distance capacity.

Post this sign at entrances notifying customers to STOP if they are sick and ask them not to enter the library.

Practice physical distancing during pick up and delivery by talking with the customer through a passenger window, loading items directly into the customer’s trunk without contact, or making labeled items available at the door or inside pick-up lockers.

If your library has self-checkout, have customers check out their own materials.

Ohio Department of Health
The Ohio Department of Health has created a number of COVID-19 posters and signs that can be downloaded from (also available in Spanish).

Healthy habits
We all know we should wash our hands often and for at least 20 seconds, but when we get busy – a quick reminder is helpful. Be sure to post hygiene recommendations from the CDC and Ohio Department of Health around the library, especially in breakrooms and restrooms.

Safe Handling of Materials

The following information may be helpful as many libraries begin to reduce their quarantine time or eliminate it.

Quarantine Time Guidance by State

Quarantining Library Materials Recommended Best Practices (PDF)