FAQ: COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan

The following information summarizes our COVID-19 preparedness and response plan. If you have questions or need additional information, contact the KDL Patron Services Team or the manager of any branch location.

Why was the library closed for so long? 

The library was closed from March 13 until June 15, when we began offering curbside service. We were required by Executive Order to keep our buildings closed during this time in order to keep people safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. During the closure, KDL staff stayed busy providing virtual programing, planning new services and participating in virtual training sessions to expand library and customer service skills. 

Why am I limited to one hour in a branch? 

The governor’s Executive Order requires KDL to limit capacity to 25%. In order to help limit the number of people in the building at any one time, and to help lessen the chance of any prolonged exposure to COVID-19 by library patrons and staff, we are asking patrons to limit their visits to the library to an hour’s time.  

Why can’t I use a study room? 

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of our library buildings will be following CDC guidelines for disinfecting our spaces. We unfortunately need to limit the number of surfaces needing to be disinfected and also limit the number of people in the building at any one time. For that reason, some portions of our building need to remain closed during this time.  

Why can’t my kids play in the play area?  

We are saddened that we needed to close our indoor play spaces. We know they are well loved by children and parents and that they will be missed. Because there are so many commonly touched items in our KDLville areas and children tend to congregate close together, we’ve decided that closing these areas is our safest option.  

Where are all the toys in the play area? 

To prevent exposure to COVID-19, we are currently storing all toys. Toys in KDLville have a lot of children touching them and playing with them. For the safety of all the children who visit the branch, we are not currently placing any toys out for patrons to play with while there is no vaccine for COVID-19. Instead, you may want to check out our KDL GO! Packs that have toys and games in them or our Mission: Read! Booster Packs that have lots of fun language learning games in them.  

Why do I have to sign up for a computer when there are free computers sitting all over? 

In order to practice good social distancing in the time of COVID-19, we need to close access to certain computers to allow for adequate spacing between people. This allows our patrons to use the computers while maintaining a safe distance based on CDC recommendations. If you need access to a computer, we can add you to the queue or you can borrow a Chromebook.  

Why did my computer session shut down after an hour?  

To limit the number of patrons in the branch, we are asking that people limit their stay to one hour. This will allow more people to visit the branch throughout the course of the day and have access to the resources they need while minimizing their exposure to staff and others.  

Why are there arrows on the floor? 

The arrows are provided to help with social distancing.  

Why aren’t there in-branch programs? 

We can’t wait to start providing programs at the branch again; however, at this time, it’s not yet safe to bring groups of people together. We plan to reassess the situation in the winter and, if it is safe to do so, resume programming at that time 

Why can’t I reserve the program room/conference room for my event/group? 

In an effort to follow CDC and health department guidelines around social distancing, branches are currently not allowing room rentals. This decision has been made in conjunction with the municipalities we serve, and in many cases these rooms are currently being used to quarantine materials when they are returned until we are confident they have been disinfected and are ready to re-enter circulation. We hope to begin allowing room rentals again once KDL has also determined it is safe to resume programming sometime in the future. 

Why is there not a dedicated time for at-risk people only? 

This idea was considered; however, because at-risk people are not always easily identifiable by sight, it would be hard to decide who is at-risk and who is not. As such, enforcing a policy like this could lead to discrimination. It was decided instead that our best path forward was to do all that can be done to make the branches safe environments for our patrons at all hours to minimize risk. We are happy to recommend hours that the branch is less busy if that would be helpful.  

Why is there a limit on the number of people using the bathroom?  

Because people congregate in close proximity in high-touch locations within the restrooms (such as the sinks), for the safety of our patrons, we are asking that patrons wait outside the restroom until the person occupying it leaves in order to limit the numbers in the restroom. 

What were you doing while you were closed? 

The Executive Order to keep Michigan residents safe prohibited staff from returning to work to prepare the facilities for public visits. Instead, staff worked at home to provide online services through our website and social media pages. In addition, all staff completed trainings and planned for reopening in a safe way.  

Were staff paid or furloughed during this time?  

Staff continued to be paid to do assigned tasks from home, such as online storytimes and programs, and everyone completed trainings to improve their library and customer service skills.  

Do patrons have to wear masks in the library?  

For the safety of our entire community, we are requiring all people using the library to wear a mask. If you forgot your mask, don’t worry, we will give you one.  

Is the library accepting book donations yet?  

KDL staff are working hard to prepare and manage many new procedures to keep staff and patrons safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, including a 4-day quarantine of all items. KDL will begin accepting donations sometime after the branches reopen depending on the availability of the local friends of the library group. 

Why can’t I buy coffee and snacks anymore? 

In order to keep staff and patrons safe during this pandemic, we are limiting services and transactions to only things that involve access to our materials and public computers. We are looking forward to providing snacks and coffee once things return to normal.  

What is the library doing to keep the space clean and safe? 

KDL has developed a disinfecting protocol in accordance with CDC and Kent County Health Department guidelines and recommendations. Protocol actions include:  

  1. Quarantining returned materials for at least 96 hours before they are returned to the library collection.  
  2. Staff wearing personal protection equipment throughout the day, including masks. Masks will also be made available for patrons. 
  3. Cleaning touched surfaces with greater frequency using guidelines and products recommended by the health department. 
  4. Reducing branch occupancy numbers to allow for social distancing within library. 

What is the library doing to keep materials clean and safe? 

KDL is following guidelines issued by the CDC and the Kent County Health Department regarding how long the virus lives on surfaces. KDL’s protocol now includes:  

  1. Quarantining returned materials for at least 96 hours before they are returned to the library collection. 
  2. Providing additional bins throughout the library to collect touched items for quarantine.  

KDL continues to monitor CDC and KCHD guidelines and will revise our protocol based on changes in their recommendations.