8.0 - Emergency Pandemic Response

On March 10, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in response to the COVID-19 virus (COVID-19) outbreak. The ROPL Board has a responsibility to the public to provide a safe and secure environment, as well as providing the same to staff. The following changes are made to our policies, and will remain in effect until action is taken by the Library Board to restore normal policies:

8.1 Policy 3.10 - Auditorium and Meeting/Study Room Suspended

8.1.1 - Policy 3.10 is suspended. No public rooms will be available for rental, paid or not paid. Any paid rentals will be refunded in full.

8.1.2 - Study Rooms C/D will be available for individual use for a maximum of 2 individuals at a time. Other rules governing use of study rooms are still in effect.

8.1.3 - The quiet study room is limited to no more than 4 users at a time. Extra chairs will be removed from the room to limit use.

8.1.4 - Board members retain the ability to conduct Board business in any room.

8.2 Policy 3.21 - Displays and Exhibits Restricted Use

8.2.1 - Policy 3.21 is amended to add the following paragraph

“Effective immediately, displays will only be changed as deemed necessary to Library services (i.e. add memorial books into the collection). Staff or volunteers shall not change unless directed to do so by the Library Director.”

8.3 Policy 3.50 - Library Hours and Holidays Modified

8.3.1 - The ROPL director may suspend policy 3.50 and close all public areas if any of the following occur:

A. The Mayor of Royal Oak declares an emergency.

B. The Oakland County Health Department orders the closing of public buildings.

C. Royal Oak Schools close for two or more consecutive days due to the COVID-19.

D. A person with a confirmed case of COVID-19 is known to have visited the library while infected.

E. The Chief of Police and Library Director determine it is in the best interest of the public to close the Library.

8.3.2 - If invoked by the director, staff shall close the library immediately, with a 15 minute notice given to the public to vacate. The director shall give notice to the board via email within an hour of closing.

8.3.3 - The Library shall remain closed until the director determines it is safe to resume operations. Health and safety concerns shall be cleared. Reasonable notice shall be given to the board when the library will be reopened.

8.3.4 - While public areas are closed, staff should consult with the library director for their schedule.

8.4 Policy 5.10 - Circulation Fines Suspended

8.4.1 - The following sections of policy 5.1 are suspended:

"Suspension of Library Privileges for Accounts Exceeding Threshold

A. Borrowing privileges are suspended for accounts which have accumulated a total of $15.00 in fines and fees, including bills for replacement of lost or damaged material. A borrower must  pay all fines and fees in full in order to have their borrowing privileges restored.

B. Access to the Library Computer Labs or Wireless network is suspended for accounts which have accumulated a total of $15.00 in fines and fees, including bills for replacement of lost or damaged material. All fines and fees must be paid in full before computer privileges are restored."

8.4.2 - All registered users shall have full borrowing and computer privileges, unless blocked due to code of conduct violations.  

8.4.3 - The Library will not collect in person payment for fines and fees until this section is revoked.

8.4.4 - All due dates of materials currently checked out are extended until July 13, 2020 unless extended by the library director with written notice to the board.

8.4.5 - All items returned will be held from public use for 72 hours. Any handling of returned materials will be done using protective materials such as latex gloves.

8.5 Policy 5.11 - Registration Amended

8.5.1 - The policy 5.1 is amended to add the following section:

“H. Students enrolled in Oakland Community College Royal Oak Campus who live outside of Royal Oak are encouraged to obtain library cards from their home library and use reciprocal borrowing privileges between their home library and ROPL. If they are unable to obtain a card from their home library, ROPL will issue a temporary card valid through August 31 of the school year.”

8.6 Policy 5.14 - Outreach Services to Home Revision

8.6.1 - Policy 5.14 is amended to add the following text:

“Use of this service is not intended for temporary quarantine relating to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Library staff shall, if possible, provide for curbside pick up of holds placed through www.ropl.org (or another solution).”

8.6.2 - Staff shall change the registration form to exclude COVID-19 related quarantine as a qualification for Homebound Services.

8.6.3 - Homebound services are halted while the library is closed to the public.

8.7 Policy 7.10 - Staff Professional Development Amended

8.7.1 - Policy 7.10 shall be amended to suspend all training that requires staff travel. - Staff is encouraged to attend webinars and virtual learning opportunities.

8.8 Staff Emergency Response

8.8.1 - Staff are encouraged to wash their hands on a regular basis.

8.8.2 - ROPL shall provide materials to clean all workstations. Special attention should be paid to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones, and light switches.

8.8.3 - Any staff member who is displaying signs and symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, sore throat, or cough) should report their symptoms to their supervisor immediately and go home.  

8.8.4 - Staff members unable to work due to the COVID-19 outbreak shall not be considered absent. In accordance with other emergencies that have halted library operations, staff members shall be paid their full wages for all hours they are scheduled to work, even if not present in the building. - Policy 8.8.4 shall expire by a majority vote of the Board. - Policy 8.8.4 is subject to union contracts.

8.8.5 - Staff who are in a CDC defined “high risk” group may elect to work remotely. Supervisors shall provide deliverables for any staff member that is working remotely.

8.9 Building Concerns

8.9.1 - Any non-essential building maintenance shall be canceled.

8.9.2 - Volunteers are not allowed in the building while closed to the public.

8.9.3 - Volunteers who show signs of COVID-19 symptoms shall not enter the building.

8.9.4 - ROPL shall post posters encouraging healthy hygiene habits in all public and staff areas. Handwashing signs shall be posted in all restrooms.

8.9.5 - Staff shall develop a plan to wipe down all hard surfaces no less than twice a day.

8.9.6 - Computer terminals shall be disinfected between uses.

8.9.7 - All programming, including off site programs, are suspended.

8.10 Library Director Empowerment

8.10.1 - The Library director is empowered to make temporary, relevant policy adjustments in the interest of public health and safety.

8.10.2 - Any policy changes must be communicated to the board immediately.

8.11 Milestones for Operations

8.11.1 - The document “ROPL Complete Reopening Plan” outlines the ROPL plan for reopening and outlines services that will be available during phases that are outlined. Document follows below.

8.11.2 - Phase advancement shall depend on the State wide pandemic level, as declared by the Governor and outlined in the State of Michigan’s publican “MI Safe Start A Plan to Re-Engage Michigan’s Economy” .

8.11.3 - Without regard to policy 8.10, advancing to any phase can only be completed by the majority vote of the Board.  The director shall prepare a report for Board consideration outlining milestones achieved and preparations in place to advance to the next phase of the reopening plan. 

8.11.4 - The director may regress to any phase as she deems necessary as outlined in the reopening plan without a vote of the full Board.The director shall notify the board within 24 hours of regressing to a lower level of service.

Adopted 5/26/2020; revised 7/28/2020.