Treat Memorial Library updates emergency policy and issues reminder

LIVERMORE FALLS — As the staff works toward reopening Treat Memorial Library, it has updated its emergency police and would like to remind the public why the library is closed — “to slow the spread of COVID-19, to flatten the curve, to save lives,” library officials said.
In response to the pandemic the emergency policy was reviewed, revised and approved on May 30 by the library staff, the Board of Trustees and the town manager. “It is a strict policy, because we take saving lives very seriously,” officials said. “The library is complying with local, state of Maine, and CDC guidelines and regulations.”
The Treat Memorial Library’s Emergency Policy may be enacted at the discretion of the director and/or his/her designee. This policy includes guidelines to provide the best library service possible while recognizing public health and other emergency concerns.
The following are potential emergency measures that the director may take. This list is not comprehensive and other items may be added as necessary. In order to keep staff and the public safe:
1. Don’t come to the library if you feel sick or have been exposed to COVID-19. 2. The number of patrons in the library building (based on square footage) is limited to no more than five. 3. Patron visits are limited to one member per household. No children under the age of 8 years. 4. Staff and members of the public are required to wear masks or face coverings which cover mouth and nose. Those who do not wear a face covering will be limited to curbside service, subject to staff availability. 5. A distance of 6 feet physical distance is to be maintained in all areas of the library. 6. A limit of the number of items that may be checked out on one account is set at five, but may be changed as staff adjusts to be able to handle an increase. 7. The director may limit access to or close areas of the building to the public based on safety/health concerns. 8. Time limit for patron library visits is 30 minutes. 9. Only phone, text or email contact with library staff for curbside service. No physical contact. 10. Follow library safety procedures and instructions. Signs will be posted in the library. 11. No food or drink, including closed containers. 12. Patrons are to limit personal items brought into the library and avoid setting things down. 13. Other actions deemed necessary for safety and order.
Noncompliance with any emergency measure may result in the removal of library privileges. While the library is following the state reopening safety guidelines, patrons should be aware that there is some risk inherent in using shared spaces with shared materials. The library cannot guarantee a perfectly safe space.
Additionally, anyone entering the library must provide their name and contact information for contact tracing purposes. Should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 connected with the library, State officials will need this information. Anyone refusing to provide this information will be restricted to curbside service, for everyone’s safety.
Now that materials are once again circulating through curbside service, the library will take every precaution to keep everyone safe. All returning materials, or any that have been handled, go into quarantine. Quarantine is the safest method of sanitizing, as it requires less handling by staff and no harsh chemicals. It also saves on the library’s limited supply of disinfectants. Quarantining isolates items and uses time to sanitize, waiting for the virus to die. This does increase the wait for the more popular items to recirculate, but library staff would rather hand patrons a book without COVID-19.
There are laboratory test being conducted specifically on library materials (books, DVDs, etc.), but the results are not yet available, therefor the staff does not have a definitive answer regarding the length of time the quarantine period should be. Some sources have said three days, while other sources say seven days. In consideration of patrons’ safety, the library is quarantining materials for seven days. If the awaited lab results indicate a different amount of time, the library will adjust accordingly.
“During this stressful time, we appreciate your cooperation and patience,” library officials said. “Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe!”
Those with questions or concerns may call the library at 207-897-3631 and speak with Myra Rosenbaum, library director.