BY MATT MACKINDER
Clarkston News Editor
Once the Clarkston Independence District Library closed March 16 due to the coronavirus crisis and being deemed a “place of accommodation,” library staff met two days over Zoom to discuss options moving forward with the new restrictions in place.
Recently, the library has started to reopen in phases, with one being the start of offering curbside service this week.
“We have gone through weeks of virtual meetings and trainings to learn how to prepare a plan to safely re-open the library,” said Julie Meredith, library director. “The library board has approved a six-stage reopening plan that ranges from complete closure to ‘back to normal.’ This system will help us gradually move forward as the fight against this virus improves yet will allow us to step back quickly if there is a resurgence or local outbreak.
“We can use these stages to more easily communicate to the public where we are in terms of available services.”
Those steps include integrating the most updated CDC and OSHA guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 into cleaning procedures and acquiring needed supplies, implementing a materials quarantine process, acquiring PPE for staff and providing training, preparing a process for screening employees for COVID symptoms, rearranging spaces to allow for appropriate social distancing, and using the best practices of grocery stores and restaurants that have been open for the duration.
“Our top priority is offering the library services the community loves while still keeping everyone safe,” said Meredith. “You will see changes in the layout of the furniture, reductions in the occupancy levels in our meetings rooms, and smaller groups for in-person programs, all to allow for social distancing. We also know curbside pickup and virtual programs are here to stay. Our community loves them.
“We are sharing our phases of reopening and taking things one step at a time to assure everyone’s safety.”