Many libraries are returning to serving patrons in person this fall. Here are five tips for opening your library during the pandemic that will help you maximize the safety of all in an efficient way.

#1 Keep your digital resources robust

Just because you’re back in person, it doesn’t mean that everyone is going to be eager to walk through the door. Make sure you keep virtual programming as an option in case people can’t or do not wish to attend in person. Many libraries have begun offering seminars through Zoom or Facebook livestream. There are several other options for streaming such as YouTube or even Instagram.

Also consider the degree to which your library’s operations are digitally-focused.

·       Have you instituted virtual library cards yet?

·       How easy is it for your patrons to communicate with you electronically (email, Facebook and other social media platforms, etc.)?

·       Do you offer a way for patrons to browse your library catalog remotely?

#2 Call in the reserves

This is not the time to underutilize your support staff. If need be, make sure you have extra staff on hand to direct the flow of traffic, hand out hand sanitizer and masks (if applicable), and reinforce your social distancing policies.

#3 Talk about it

It will be reassuring for your librarygoers to hear about your safety policies. Don’t keep your expectations a secret. Communicate clearly over social media and in your newsletter so that patrons won’t hesitate to visit. Post signage and other visual reminders of precautions that librarygoers are expected to take in the heavy traffic areas onsite.

#4 Use curbside drop off and pick up

For health reasons, some patrons may be unable to enter the library. Make sure you have a curbside option which allows people to pick up or drop off their library items.

#5 Don’t forget about remote learning

Teaching kids from home is a source of stress for many families. Libraries can save the day by offering programming that supplements their classwork.

Have questions about reopening your library? Contact us and we’ll be glad to lend you our ears.

Disclosure: Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.