COVID-19 Preparedness Plan for Jessie F. Hallett Memorial Library

  • Start Date: June 1, 2020Building is closed to the public.

    Contactless Curbside Pick Up is available:

    • Monday – Friday: 11:00 – 5:00
    • Saturday: 10:00 – 2:00

    A book return is available during Curbside Service hours in front of Abbey House.

    • Book Return Policy: All books that are returned are quarantined for 3 days before returning to the shelves or moving on to the next reserve.
    • No book donations are accepted at this time.

    Reserve Process

    Patrons can reserve books by

    Once books are ready for pickup, staff will call the patron to confirm their availability.

    Patrons can pick up their items during designated hours Monday – Saturday. When they arrive at Abbey House, they call 546-8005  or text 218-304-8644 to let staff know they have arrived. Staff will bring items out to pick-up cart in front of Abbey House, and then patron can take books and drop off any returns in the provided bin.

    Staff can provide faxing, copying, and printing services for patrons through Curbside Service.

    Wi-Fi is available 24/7 to the public from outside the building

    • Must observe social distancing (6 feet apart) outside building

    No programs or community meetings will take place in person, only via online services.

    • Including Friends Meeting, Board Meeting, Story Hour, Make & Do, and more.

    Resources are available online through Overdrive and Libby 24/7, with increased focus on providing content online.

    Cleaning Policy:

    Staff must clean high-touch areas with a disinfectant cleaner at least once a day, and use their own materials (pens, pencils, etc) when possible.

    • Items to clean regularly include computer, keyboard, mouse, front desk, quarantine carts, door handles, and more.
  • Start Date: June 29, 2020All services from Phase One continue.

    Volunteers are allowed to come back to library with scheduled shifts.

    • Volunteers are asked to self-monitor their health
      • Temperatures will be taken when they arrive at library
      • Any signs of illness, or not feeling well, please stay home
    • Face masks are required for volunteers

    Computer Lab is open to patrons by appointment only

    • 45-minute sessions starting on the hour
    • Temperatures will be taken when they arrive at library
    • 3 stations are available for use
      • Stations are at least 6 feet apart
    • Staff will sanitize after each appointment (last 15 minutes of every hour)
    • Face masks are required inside the library
    • Bathroom is closed to the public
    • All patrons and staff must observe social distancing protocols.
      • Plexiglass will be installed at the front desk for further protection

    Appointments will be taken by staff. Patrons and volunteers can contact library staff by:

    • Call: 218-546-8005
    • Text: 218-304-8644
    • Email:


    Maximum of ten (10) people allowed inside the library building at one time

    • Count does not include staff
    • Volunteers are counted

    Friends and Board meetings may take place in person after hours

    • Face masks and social distancing protocols will be observed
    • Online meetings will also be available if the 10 person limit is an issue for attendance

    Cleaning Policy:

    Cleaning will take place in the last 15 minutes of each hour after patrons have left. High-touch/communal areas will be cleaned with disinfectant cleaners, following the protocols and instructions of said cleaners.

    Areas include:

    • Computer stations
      • Keyboard, mouse, chair, counter
    • Front Desk
    • Door knobs/handles
    • Communal objects (phones, etc)

Start Date: Dependent on Evaluation of Phase Two and State Guidelines

All services from Phase One and Phase Two continue with the following additions.

Patrons can make appointments to visit the library and browse shelves.

  • Appointments will be 45 minutes, on the hour
  • Temperatures will be taken when they arrive at library
  • Curbside Service will continue for patrons
  • Maximum of 15 people inside the library building at once.
  • Special Hours will be designated for vulnerable patrons
  • Face masks are required for Staff and patrons; social distancing protocols must be observed
    • Library will provide directional flow for aisles and social distancing guidelines at the front desk
    • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the library
    • Face masks will be available for $1.00 if a patron does not have their own
  • Public bathroom is available for use
    • See Cleaning Procedure for further details
  • All toys and communal objects will be removed from the public space
  • Programs are still on hold or held online

Staff requests that patrons use eBooks through Libby or utilize Curbside Pick-Up whenever possible.

Cleaning Procedure:

The last 15 minutes of each hour are designated for cleaning and sanitizing. Staff will use gloves and disinfectant cleaners.

Areas include:

  • Computer stations
  • Bathroom
  • Front Desk
  • Door knobs/handles
  • Communal objects (phones, etc)
  • Any additional areas that are in need of cleaning

Start Date: Dependent on Phase Three and State Guidelines

  • Reevaluate the need for appointments and capacity depending on library usage and further State guidelines.
  • Reevaluate the need to take temperatures
  • Continue as is, or with hybrid

Start Date: Dependent on State Guidelines

  • Reinstate in-person programming

Guidelines for Staff throughout all phases of reopening.

  • Monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and other illness
    • Staff should not come to work if unwell
  • Daily Wellness Checks
    • Temperature Screening
      • If temperature is over 100.4 F, employee must go home
    • If symptoms develop during the work day, employee will be sent home
  • Facemasks must be worn by staff when working with patrons
  • Cleaning
    • Gloves must be worn when disinfecting the library
  • Staff should always wash hands when arriving at work, before/after eating, after interacting with patrons
    • Hand sanitizer is available if they cannot immediately wash their hands with soap and water
  • Staff will be provided with Feedback sheets to help evaluate each stage of reopening

COVID-19 Reopening Plan was created using information from the following sources:

American Industrial Hygiene Association – Reopening: Guidance for Libraries

CDC: Visiting a Library

Minnesota Department of Health

COVID-19 Resources

As with other respiratory illnesses, there are steps that everyone can take to reduce the risk of getting sick from circulating viruses. The CDC recommends the following preventive actions. 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work. 
  • Use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are not available. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the trash straight away and wash your hands afterward. 
  • Try alternatives to shaking hands, like an elbow bump or wave.
  • If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
  • Vulnerable individuals, which is defined as 60+ years or who have health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and weakened immune systems, are recommended to limit outings, avoid large gatherings, telecommute if possible, stay home if they are sick and avoid people who are sick.

Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for answers to frequently asked questions.

Most newspapers have removed paywalls for articles concerning COVID-19 so everyone has access to information.

Local Sources:

Brainerd Dispatch

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Other Sources:


New York Times