Epidemic Policy

During an epidemic, businesses, social organizations or schools may be required to take measures to help slow the spread of illness in the community. These measures may include limiting or canceling public gatherings, requiring quarantines and other social distancing measures, and closing public facilities at the recommendation of health officials. The library must plan for potential changes to library operations, library closures, or library staff being unable to work.


A. Criteria for Closing the Library:

  • The Boulder Junction Public Library will close due to an epidemic if a mandated order or recommendation for closure is issued by public health or government officials on the local, county, state, or federal level. The library may also discontinue services or programming if health officials recommend a reduction in public services and gatherings.
  • The Library Director, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, may close the library, reduce its operating hours, or limit services temporarily if there are not enough staff available to maintain basic library service levels.
  • The library may temporarily close or alter services if an employee or patron tests positive for an epidemic virus. The library will follow an Epidemic Response Plan.
  • The library will cancel all public programs when schools are closed to reduce contact between members of the community. When schools are closed due to an epidemic, unattended children 12 and under will not be permitted in the library.

B. Library Staff Attendance:
If the Library is open, employees are expected to report to work on time as scheduled, except for excused absences following the Library’s Personnel Policy. If the library is closed, employees shall be compensated for their regularly scheduled hours, if fiscally possible.

Employees may be required to report to work during library closures to maintain the integrity of the building, complete work that can be done while the building is closed or provide library services remotely when possible. Employees are also expected to work from home when practical.

C. Enhanced Cleaning Standards:
During a community epidemic, the Boulder Junction Public Library will follow enhanced cleaning standards to minimize exposure from contaminated surfaces. The library will create a checklist of surfaces and areas to be cleaned and disinfected daily and throughout the day. The checklist may include areas such as tabletops, chairs, computer workstations, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom facilities, trash receptacles, telephones, shared work areas, and staff kitchen areas. Disinfecting and cleaning procedures recommended by public health officials will be followed. Custodial staff and other library staff may be required to assist with completing the cleaning checklist throughout the day.

Other measures may be taken to reduce contact between patrons and exposure to contaminated surfaces. This could include, but not be limited to, removing chairs from public areas to increase the distance between library patrons, removing toys and other non-circulating materials, and limiting the number of patrons in the library at the same time. The library will attempt to provide an adequate supply of hand sanitizers, soap, and tissues for employees and the public.

If a staff member or patron is sick and has been in the library, the library may need to close for enhanced cleaning and disinfecting.

D. Communication:
If the library closes, reduces hours, or changes service offerings, the library staff will post a notice on the library and community center doors, the library’s social media pages, and website. The library staff will also change the phone message to reflect the change in hours and services. The Library Director, in consultation with the Board of Trustees, will notify town officials of any change in the library’s schedule by email and/or phone.

The Library Director will be the primary spokesperson for questions about the library’s schedule or operations to the public or local media.

E. Criteria for Reopening the Library:
The Library Director and Board of Trustees will create reopening plans and procedures based on guidelines of county, state, and national health organizations, the town of Boulder Junction, and by the availability of adequate safety and cleaning supplies for conducting business in a way that protects patrons and staff. If, after reopening, a staff member or patron is sick and has been in the library, the library may need to close for cleaning and disinfecting.

Adopted June 2020
Revised September 2020