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
- Best Practices and Recommendations
- Safe Handling of Materials
- Tools and Templates
- Healthy Habits
- PPE for Libraries (Group purchasing for OLC Institutional Members only)
- Libraries distribute at-home COVID-19 testing kits
- 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
- Consumer, Retail, Services & Entertainment Sectors (PDF)
This information applies to public libraries according to the Ohio Department of Health.
Face Mask/Facial Covering
- Director’s Amended Order for Social Distancing, Facial Coverings and Non-Congregating
Ohio Department of Health (April 8, 2021)
- Addendum to Director’s Orders
Ohio Department of Health (April 27, 2021)
- CDC Diagram
(April 27, 2021)
- Please Wait Here Floor Sign — PDF | Word Doc
- Observe Distancing — PDF | Word Doc
- 6 Feet Apart Sign — PDF | Word Doc
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.
- Stop Do Not Enter Sign (PDF)
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 coronavirus.ohio.gov (also available in Spanish).
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.
The following information may be helpful as many libraries begin to reduce their quarantine time or eliminate it.
- In guidance posted on April 5, 2021, the CDC noted that “the risk of fomite transmission after a person with COVID-19 has been in an indoor space is minor after 3 days (72 hours), regardless of when it was last cleaned.”
- The CDC has acknowledged that “spread from touching surfaces is not thought to be a common way that COVID-19 spreads.” Also, microbiologist Emanuel Goldman noted in an article in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal that “the chance of transmission through inanimate surfaces is very small, and only in instances where an infected person coughs or sneezes on the surface, and someone else touches that surface soon after the cough or sneeze (within 1–2 h).”
- Has the Era of Overzealous Cleaning Finally Come to an End?
New York Times, April 8, 2021
Quarantine Time Guidance by State