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COVID-19 | Reopening Library Checklist

Use checklists to implement the hygiene and safety measures in the library in daily operations.

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Hygiene Concept for the Library Reopening

As places of knowledge transfer, knowledge acquisition, reading, information and media competence, libraries enable intergenerational social participation and discourse. They are among the most heavily used cultural and educational institutions. During the Corona crisis, they too had to close for several weeks to stem the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

In the course of the corona loosening, the libraries were allowed to resume their work - even if not as before. Protective measures such as hygiene requirements, access control, avoiding queues and maintaining a distance of 1.5 to 2 meters must be observed from now on.

For the reopening of the library, every library is obliged to draw up a hygiene concept, which is based on the spatial and structural conditions and the available resources. The use of checklists can help in the creation of a hygiene concept as well as in the implementation and monitoring of hygiene and protective measures.

This article deals with the following topics:

1. Restriction in operation by hygiene protection

2. Use of digital checklists for the hygiene concept

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Restriction During Operation by Hygiene Protection in Library

With the gradual loosening, libraries are also moving into a new "normality" that will last for an unforeseeable time. There are many changes in daily work. Employees and visitors will have to get used to the security protocols of COVID-19 in order to be able to guarantee the infection protection at reopening.

The following general safety guidelines should be considered in the library hygiene plan:

1. Maintaining Social Distance

Introduce strict social distancing measures on the premises and in the building to reduce the risk of coronavirus spread. These measures may include:

  • limitation of the number of persons within the site and building at a given time
  • Installation of distance markings that allow a distance of at least 1.5 meters to be maintained when persons have queued at service points
  • Suspend group tours and events
  • Change of arrangement and set-up (e.g. tables, shelves, etc.) in rooms accessible to the public
  • Adjustment of business operations and shift patterns of employees

Also, guests and employees should be required to wear a mouth and nose protector to prevent the accidental spread of the virus in the environment. It has been shown that this measure can contribute to the transmission of airborne droplets to other people and surfaces.

2. Regular Cleaning and Disinfection

A separate cleaning and disinfection plan helps to limit the risk of exposure to Covid-19 In this plan it is recorded which areas and surfaces now require an increased cleaning and disinfection interval. Libraries should also make soap and hand disinfectants available in the facility for visitors and staff. In facilities with a high volume of visitors, short closures can be made to ensure regular cleaning and disinfection of surfaces with high contact.

3. Training of Employees

Only together can the library successfully combat the spread of the coronavirus. For this, all employees must have the same level of knowledge. Qualified training on health and safety protocols against Covid-19 and specific instructions for changes in their work duties are part of the library's hygiene concept. It is essential that employees clearly understand the existing health and safety protocols to be able to implement them properly. It should also not be overlooked that all employees should be informed immediately of any changes.

4. Offer Services With Low Contact

Libraries can further limit social interaction by offering some services remotely or online. This would be possible in the following areas:

  • Offer collection of online orders outside the house
  • Offer return of media via external return machines (returned books should be quarantined for 24 to 72 hours for security reasons)
  • Offer virtual library tours
  • Organize virtual author readings, book reviews or similar

5. Monitoring of Measures

A hygiene plan is a nice thing, but useless if nobody sticks to it. That is why it is important to establish a monitoring procedure to keep an eye on whether all hygiene and safety measures are being observed. This includes, for example, that all visitors and staff wear a mouth and nose protector before entering the library rooms. But also that the cleaning intervals for surfaces with high contact density are observed.

Digital Checklists for the Hygiene Concept of the Library

Reopening in a corona pandemic is both challenging and risky. The hygiene plan helps the library to protect staff and visitors from infection with the coronavirus. It supports all parties involved in complying with the Covid-19 safety protocols.

With Lumiform's mobile app, security inspections can be easily performed using a tablet or smartphone - online or offline. Using the desktop software, library staff can create checklists in advance and evaluate the data collected on-site later. This significantly reduces the risk of documentation errors and communication deficits.

The app allows you to report problems immediately and to quickly assign corrective actions to the responsible colleagues. The easy communication with all team members and partners enables the library to improve internal processes and solve occurring incidents up to four times faster.

Even outside the Corona pandemic, the library team benefits from the advantages of the mobile app solution in their everyday work:

  • With the flexible form construction kit, digital checklists are created within minutes.
  • Collect data on site and get an overview in real time.
  • Save time by easily analyzing all the data to quickly identify areas that need special attention.
  • All examination results will automatically be bundled in a report and sent immediately to the responsible persons.
  • The very simple operation offers no room for error when filling in on site. The app has a less complex structure when documenting or filling out checklists than complicated paper or Excel lists.

To make the start with the app and desktop software easier, we have selected suitable templates to help each library with the hygiene plan and the implementation of the Covid-19 measures. The checklists can be used immediately with the Lumiform app. In addition, all templates can be easily adapted to internal company guidelines and regional guidelines of state authorities.

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