Hartford, WI – Dear Citizens of the Jack Russell Memorial Library service population,
Protecting the safety and health of our citizens and staff is currently the top priority for our Library Board, staff and City Administration. We are working diligently to help curb the spread of COVID-19 by following the guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control, the Wisconsin Department of Health, and the Washington Ozaukee County Health Department.
JRML staff continues to wipe down hard surfaces and providing hand sanitizer while supplies last. Please keep in mind we cannot guarantee a germ-free space because this a public place.
After much thought, consideration and review of this fluid situation, JRML is implementing a Safe Distance Procedure in order to continue providing essential library services during this time of quarantining children starting Monday, March 16. Essential services are being defined as: internet service, whether through JRML’s networked computers or WIFI, space to work remotely or study and materials for citizen engagement at home.
The goal of our safe distance procedure is to help limit the spread of CDOVID-19 in order to avoid shutting down services for healthy citizens. These measures are being put into place for the safety of EVERYONE. Keep in mind that without healthy staff members, we cannot provide essential library services.
JRML understands there are rural areas in our service population not served by internet service providers. Therefore, starting Monday, March 16 through April 13, 2020 the following temporary policies will be implemented in order for library services to continue and keep children quarantined during the school closing.
- No more than 100 people will be allowed in the building at a time. Our facility is 35,000 square feet spread over two floors. Staff have mapped out specific areas where students and citizens who need to work remotely can come and do so. All areas are 6-feet apart as recommended by the CDC.
- Citizens of all ages are limited to 3 hours per person, per day in the library. The Library is not going to allow children to be dropped off for pseudo day care services because it does not fit into our safe-distancing procedures.
- Areas have been measured to allow for the CDC’s recommended 6-foot distance. It will be ONE PERSON, PER AREA at a time. We are encouraging independent work, study and browsing. Small group meetings of two or more people will not be allowed. Siblings should not expect to be allowed to sit together and work. Nor should you expect to be hanging out with a friend to study or work. We are asking citizens not to congregate in areas if you happen to run into your neighbor or friend while visiting the library. For the safety of everyone’s health, we are asking that you keep things moving while inside the building.
- Cancellation of library sponsored programs and activities: All scheduled programming and meetings sponsored by JRML have been cancelled through April 13.
- Cancellation of organized meeting reservations by citizens: Meetings that have been booked by private citizens, organizations and associations have been cancelled through April 13.
- Wii Game Console – Starting Monday, March 16 we are temporarily suspending use of the Wii located in the young adult area to allow this space to be made available for individuals to work or study.
- Toys in the children’s area – On Thursday, March 12 staff temporarily suspended use of the children’s Lego and train table, put away all stuffed animals and cleared off all extra, hand held toys from the youth services desk.
- Youth spaces located on the first floor – JRML has two designated areas on the first floor of our building that will be made available to children and young adults only. Adults will not be assigned these areas to use computer stations or work remotely. Adults will be allowed in these areas only when accompanied by their own minor child.
- Family Groups who choose to make a visit to the library – Staff will handle these situations on a case by case basis and may limit how many people can be in the library at one time browsing for materials and picking up holds.
- Groups of kids: Please stay home under the school quarantine and plan to make your library visits independently of friends. You will not be allowed in JRML simply to hang out with each other.
How Safe Distancing will be implemented at JRML
Everyone who enters the building will be required to check-in with the staff member at the table labeled “registration” before the security gates. The following are the only essential library services citizens will be allowed to utilize while inside the building and are listed in order of priority:
- Independent study/remote work/read the newspaper/read a magazine/read a book/use a public computer
- Independently browse for materials
- Independently pickup holds/fax/photocopy
Independent study/remote work/read the newspaper/read a magazine/read a book/use a public computer
Citizens will be assigned an area in the library where they will be required to stay during the time limit of three hours. Once the three hours are up, they will need to leave the building to allow other citizens to make use of the space and resources. Upon leaving they will have to checkout at the registration desk to let staff know you are leaving in order to help JRML manage our space.
Limited desktop computers will be available for use due to the 6-foot safe distance recommendation by the CDC.
Desktop computer availability will be as follows:
Children’s Area – Two computers for doing school related work. Online gaming is not considered essential use and therefore, their use is not allowed during the school quarantine. Adults will not be permitted to use these computers during safe distancing.
Young Adult Area – One computer for working remotely. As with the children’s area, online gaming is not essential therefore, their use is not allowed during the school quarantine. Adults will also not be permitted to use these computers during safe distancing.
Adult Computers on the second floor – six computers are available for working remotely. Children and young adults will not be permitted to use these computers and will be referred to youth services.
Laptops: JRML owns four laptops that will be available to youth and adults working remotely on a first-come first-serve basis for a limit of three hours.
Independent browsing for materials
Citizens visiting JRML to browse for materials will be given 30 minutes and required to keep a 6-foot distance from other citizens inside the library. JRML is encouraging citizens to use one of the two self-checkout stations available to limit person to person contact. If you do not know your pin number, please see a staff member to have it reset. Limits will be based on the total number of people in the library at the time of your visit. Looking for a specific item? Please call ahead to see if it’s on the shelf or available at another location in the Monarch Catalog. Staff will be more than happy to work with you via phone to find ways to get material. As of this writing, the Monarch Library System will continue to deliver materials between libraries that are open. Please note the decision to close a library is made locally and not by the Monarch Library System.
Independently pickup holds/fax/photocopy
You will be allowed 10 minutes at the circulation desk to complete these tasks. This will be limited to one person at a time.
Citizens who try to go around these rules and/or challenge these decisions will be asked to leave and not allowed back inside the facility until after the school quarantine has expired. Please be a good human during this time of quarantining children and our safe distancing procedures. JRML and the City of Hartford are doing the very best to manage operating public services while keeping everyone safe. While COVID-19 situation is disrupting daily life, we need to work together to limit the spread.
For the safety and well being of people visiting the JRML, staff have the right to turn away those who do not comply. This means that if you are showing flu-like symptoms, you will be asked to leave.
We appreciate your support and patience as we continue to evaluate and monitor the situation and make changes accordingly. For the foreseeable future, JRML will continue serving your library needs as outlined in our safe-distance procedure.
Please keep in mind visiting JRML or other public spaces is a decision that should be made based on the needs of you and your family. As a public space, JRML cannot guarantee a germ-free environment or germ free physical materials.
Citizens can help the spread during the school quarantine by washing your hands. Coughing into your elbow. Staying home if you are sick. We encourage any concerned citizens, especially those in high risk populations, to stay home if they are feeling ill or are simply concerned about potential exposure.
Don’t forget JRML provides many digital services, such as access to eBooks, audiobooks, magazines, online classes and streaming entertainment services that can all be access through www.hartfordlibrary.org .
We will continue to communicate with citizens as JRML’s response to this situation evolves. Thank you for working with us to continue to remain open and available to all citizens.
JRML Library Director