Pandemic Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish protocol that will be used in the event of a pandemic.  If there is a serious infectious disease outbreak, the library must plan for staff being unable to report to work.  In addition, other public health measures may require limiting or canceling social and public gatherings; quarantines and/or other social distancing measures can impact library hours and services.    

This conditional policy will be executed and subsequently rescinded by the Marlboro Free Library Board of Trustees based on the guidance of local, state and federal authorities, as needed.

When executed, emergency protocols and policies will commence and/or will supersede any existing policy, including, but not limited to, the following:

Telecommuting Policy

Proactive Infection Plan

Emergency Sick Leave Policy 

Meeting Room Use Policy

Patron Conduct Policy

Computer Use Policy

The library staff and board are committed to providing excellent library service while doing all they can to support the health of the community.


The Library Director as authorized by the Board of Trustees administers the Pandemic Response Plan. This includes activating the plan, establishing an internal communications network, and coordinating all response and recovery activities. If, for any reason, the Director is unable or unavailable to administer the plan, administrative authority shall be passed to the Assistant Director/Senior Librarian or other healthy designee.

Essential Employees or Duties

In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, the Library Director shall be designated as an Essential Employee and is permitted to be physically present at the Marlboro Free Library to perform tasks essential to their job or the operations of the library including, but not limited to, maintenance to the facilities that could otherwise threaten or pose a risk to the library’s facilities if not performed; bookkeeping such as accounts payable, accounts receivables and processing payroll; and/or accepting, sorting, and opening postal mail or packages. 

These essential tasks may be delegated to a specific employee or contractor at the discretion of the Director. This employee or contractor is permitted to be physically present at the Marlboro Free Library to perform only the designated essential tasks as assigned. 

Closure/Reduced Hours

The library will close due to pandemic if: (1) Marlboro Central School District closes; (2) a mandate, order, or recommendation for closure is issued by public health or government officials on the local, county, or state level; and/or (3) fewer than three staff members are able to report to work.  

At the discretion of the Library Director or the Library Board of Trustees, the Library may reduce its operating hours, or limit services temporarily (e.g. programming, public access to building, etc.) in the event that there is not sufficient staff to safely maintain basic library service levels. 

Staffing and Compensation

The Marlboro Free Library will adhere to all local, state, or federal laws or Executive Orders regarding sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to a pandemic. 

If the library is open, healthy staff are expected to report to work. In the event of reduced hours, staff who work will be paid for their regularly scheduled hours.  Staff unable to work will use PTO (paid time off, or benefit time), unless superseded by federal or state mandates.   In the event of closure, all fulltime staff shall be compensated for their regularly scheduled hours and will follow the Telecommuting policy executed herein.

In-Person Reporting

The Director will coordinate the schedule for employees and contractors reporting to the library in-person to perform essential tasks so that the Marlboro Free Library remains in compliance with the state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, including but not limited to, staggered work shifts. 

Staff Training

Staff will be required to complete relevant safety training, per the direction of the Library Board of Trustees or the Library Director.


In the event of reduced operating hours or closure necessitated by pandemic, effective communication is a priority. The Library Director or designee will follow the communication procedures. Information will be posted on the library’s website and social media channels. Every effort will be made to keep the information current. 

Critical Administrative Tasks

Administrative tasks, such as payroll and essential bill pay, will continue through telecommuting and online channels when possible, and correspondence among officers will be accomplished through the United States Postal Service, when necessary. Other library bills will be paid as soon as possible.  

Continuation of Operations

In the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease, the Director will address operations according to the following outline. Some circumstances will require deviation from this sequence in order to best serve the safety and health of the library staff and community.

  • Assess the emergency declaration as it relates to the library’s facilities, materials, staff, or community.
  • Notify the appropriate persons including employees and the Board of Trustees.
  • Determine the next steps, with the information available, regarding:
    • Services or service points
    • Hours of operation
    • Personnel
  • Draft a press release or statement to the public
  • Document in detail the sequence or timeline of events before, during, and after the declared public health emergency.
  • Prepare for recovery.

Personal Protective Equipment

PPE as required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders will be provided by the Marlboro Free Library. As per OSHA guidelines, employees are not financially responsible for mandated PPE. Employees may provide their own PPE if they desire and if it is in compliance with all local, state, or federal laws or Executive Orders and CDC and OSHA regulations.  

The Marlboro Free Library will provide any necessary training for mandated PPE including proper use and disposal.

The Marlboro Free Library will keep a supply of PPE in storage in the event a public health emergency is immediately declared. All employees will be aware of the storage location of PPE. The Director will monitor PPE supply levels and replenish the supply as needed. 

Library Building Cleaning & Disinfecting

Disinfecting and/or cleaning procedures issued by public health officials and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will be followed wherever possible. In the event of an infectious disease situation, the Proactive Infection Plan contained herein will be followed. The Library emphasizes prevention and individual responsibility for taking steps that contribute to keeping well and helping prevent the spread of infectious illness. Staff is responsible for disinfecting any workspace before and after contact. Patrons are responsible for following any cleaning or disinfecting requirements while utilizing the library and/or its equipment.

The Library will provide staff with access to hand sanitizer, hand washing facilities, disinfecting wipes, safety gloves, and facial tissues. The Library will post signs encouraging handwashing and routine sanitation practices that help minimize the spread of infectious illness from person to person.

Contact Tracing

The Director will adhere to local and state guidance regarding Contact Tracing which may include reporting or contacting other employees, contractors, visitors, and patrons who voluntarily supplied their information for the purpose of Contact Tracing who may have been in close contact with the employee suspected or confirmed to have the communicable disease. Monthly schedules and visitor lists will provide for precise hours to aid in tracking the disease if needed.

The Director will keep the health status of employees confidential. 


The purpose of the Telecommuting policy is to recognize the benefits of providing Library staff alternatives to traditional work practices in times of national, state, or local emergencies. Telecommuting may not be a regular work option for most staff, as their jobs include significant time devoted to patron-facing tasks such as circulation desk assignments or programming. In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, the Marlboro Free Library’s Telecommuting Policy will be implemented.  

While the Pandemic Response Plan Policy is in effect, staff shall telework where possible. Staff who have work assignments that are appropriate for telework and who are capable of teleworking shall telework for as many of their daily work hours as possible.

Teleworking staff who have work that needs to be performed on site may work in the

Library building, with the Director’s prior permission.

Staff should request to take home any needed equipment or materials from the Library in order to telework successfully. Staff should coordinate with the Library Director about logistics, assignments, reporting in for work, and reporting work accomplished. The Director will provide instructions for downloading/installing any software for employees to perform their duties remotely. The Director will also provide instructions for transferring office phone lines to personal cell phones as applicable to the employee’s job description. Additional accommodations will be made for vulnerable staff at higher risk for severe illness as a result of a pandemic, once the Pandemic Response Plan Policy is rescinded.

Accrued time (sick, personal, vacation, etc) is to be used for its intended purpose and not to complete normal teleworking shift hours, unless previously agreed upon with the Director.

Staff who is teleworking and has completed all assignments, must alert the Director and barring any additional assignments, must remain on-call and be accessible to any other staff members for the remainder of the shift.

Telecommuting is not available for long-distance work.  The telecommuting location must not be in an area that exposes the Library District to new tax or other regulatory liabilities.


 (Adopted from MHLS May 15, 2020; Updated March 2021)


  • Screening will include the following questions: 

Are any of the following statements true? 

-I have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency)  including fever, cough, shortness of breath, or at least two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or new loss of taste or smell in the past 14 days, OR

-I have tested positive for COVID-19 (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency) in the past 14 days, OR

-I have knowingly been in close or proximate contact in the past 14 days with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency) or who has or had symptoms of COVID-19 (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency).

Library staff or essential visitors should immediately notify the library director if the answers to these questions change later including during or outside work hours.

• The library director will review all responses collected by the screening process on a daily basis and maintain a record of this review.

• The library will maintain a log of all library staff and essential visitors in the facility including contact information. This information will be used to trace and notify staff and visitors in the event an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19 (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency).

STAFF THAT TEST POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 OR REPORT COVID-19 SYMPTOMS (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency):

  • The library will observe directions from local health officials for best practice in staff and public health safety in the event that a staff member reports developing symptoms related to COVID-19 or testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Library staff that develop symptoms related to COVID-19 or test positive for COVID-19 will be directed to not come in to the library or to leave the library if they are already at work, and contact a medical professional or the local health department immediately. The library will provide the employee with healthcare and testing information.
  • Emergency housing will not be provided.
  • The library director will immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification of potential contacts, such as workers or visitors who had close contact with the individual, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations. 
  • Areas used by the symptomatic or sick person will be cleaned and disinfected according to the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations ( after the person has left the facility:

1. Close off areas used by the person (It is not necessary to close operations if the affected areas can be closed off). 

2. Open doors to increase air circulation in the area.  

3. Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting. If 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.

4. Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick or symptomatic, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared equipment. 

5. Once the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use. Employees without close contact with the person who is sick can return to the work area immediately after disinfection. 

• If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 or shows symptoms of COVID-19 and is not tested for COVID-19, they may only return to work after completing a 14 day self-quarantine. If an employee has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 and is symptomatic, they may only return to work after completing a 14 day self-quarantine. 

• If an employee has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time and is not symptomatic, the employee should notify the library director and adhere to the following practices prior to and during their work shift, which will be documented by the library director: 

1. Regular monitoring: As long as the employee does not have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of their employer’s occupational health program.

2. Wear a mask: The employee should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. 

3. Social distance: Employee should continue social distancing practices, including maintaining, at least, six feet distance from others. 

4. Disinfect and clean work spaces: Continue to clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, and shared electronic equipment routinely.

  • Employees that are alerted that they came in close or proximate contact with a person with COVID-19 via tracing, tracking, or other mechanism are required to report this information to the library director. 

Patrons that Test Positive for COVID-19 (or other communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency)

  • The library will observe directions from local health officials for best practice in staff and public health safety in the event that a patron reports developing symptoms related to COVID-19 or testing positive for COVID-19 when they have recently visited the library.
  • If a library patron who has visited the library reports testing positive for COVID-19, the library will notify local health officials.
  • The library will work with local health officials to notify staff and patrons that may have been in contact with the infected patron, while maintaining the patron’s right to the privacy of their health information, and the confidentiality of library records.


The Library will follow Executive Orders and Government mandates which result from a pandemic emergency in regards to staff emergency sick leave.


Public meeting room use, public programs, and public use of library equipment may be curtailed or eliminated while this policy is enacted.  Full library services will be restored as conditions permit.  Public programs and meeting room use will resume when recommended by public health authorities.


Until the Board of Trustees votes to revoke this temporary policy, the library will require all people on Library property to abide by safety practices as recommended by government officials, including, but not limited to:

Practicing social distancing

Wearing face coverings

Utilizing hand sanitization provided

Following additional directives as indicated in order to keep a healthy environment for all

Adherence to these safety practices shall be enforced as a requirement until such time as this temporary Pandemic policy is revoked. Patrons and/or visitors found to be not following directives may be asked to leave the premises. 

In the event any safety requirement is not practicable on the basis of a disability (ADA), please contact the library director to explore a reasonable accommodation.

The library will reserve the right to refuse service to patrons who are not respectful of the safety precautions under this temporary pandemic policy.


In coordination with health authorities, the Library will consider alternatives to the complete suspension of public computing, depending on emerging conditions. Measures may include provision of disinfectant wipes, social distancing to increase space between simultaneous computer users, the use of protective gloves when using Library computer equipment, and other measures. Patrons may be required to follow posted disinfecting protocols prior to utilizing Library computers or other technology. 

Monitoring the number of people allowed in at one time and limiting computer session length or by appointment, may need to take place so vigorous sanitation procedures can be accomplished. 


Policy based on those from Stoughton Public Library, Reed Memorial Public Library, Poughkeepsie Public Library District, Delaware County Public Library, Weber County Library System

 Sources include:


Staff Review – Lindsay Jankovitz March 4, 2021