The George F. Johnson Memorial Library has adopted this Pandemic Response Plan in compliance with New York State Labor Law §27-C to implement operation plans in the event of certain declared public health emergencies including, but not limited to, novel coronavirus (COVID-19) or other communicable disease or pandemic illness.
The primary goals of George F. Johnson Memorial Library's Pandemic Response Plan are to establish:
- The roles and responsibilities during all phases of a public health emergency
- Preparedness activities and response protocols
- Coordination and decision making for the continuation of operations
The Pandemic Response Plan is designed to ensure precautionary, response, and recovery measures to a public health emergency involving a communicable disease threatening to impact or immediately impacting the library's staff, trustees, volunteers, and/or community members.
The Library Director, as authorized by the Board of Trustees, administers the Pandemic Response Plan. This includes activating the plan, establishing an internal communications network, and coordinating all response and recovery activities. If the Library Director is unable or unavailable to administer the plan for any reason, administrative authority shall be passed to the Head of the Adult Services Department.
The following terms are hereby defined for the purposes of this policy:
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Equipment worn to minimize exposure to a communicable disease or pandemic illness as mandated by local, state, or federal law and/or any Executive Orders related to the public health emergency or mandates issued by federal agencies, including the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Employee: Any person employed by the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, regardless of job classification or title.
- Contractor: Any individual performing paid services for the library, but not a George F. Johnson Memorial Library employee.
- Essential: Designation made to an employee whose duties require them to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library to perform their job OR tasks that are vital or necessary to the library's safety or operational needs.
- Non-Essential: Designation made to an employee whose duties do not require them to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library, OR tasks that are not vital or necessary to the library's safety or operational needs.
- Communicable Disease: Illness caused by an infectious agent that occurs through the direct or indirect transmission of the infectious agent or its byproducts or via inanimate environment or object to a susceptible person or persons.
- Retaliatory Action: The discharge, suspension, demotion, penalization, discrimination, or other adverse employment action taken against any employee.
ESSENTIAL EMPLOYEES OR DUTIES
In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, the Library Director shall be designated as an Essential Employee and is permitted to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library to perform tasks essential to their job or the operations of the library including, but not limited to, maintenance to the facilities that could otherwise threaten or pose a risk to the library’s facilities if not performed; bookkeeping such as accounts payable, accounts receiving, and processing payroll; and/or accepting, sorting, and opening postal mail or packages.
These essential tasks may be delegated to a specific employee or contractor at the Library Director's discretion. This employee or contractor is permitted to be physically present at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library to perform only the designated essential tasks as assigned.
TELECOMMUTE/WORK FROM HOME
In the event of a state-ordered reduction of in-person workforce, George F. Johnson Memorial Library’s employees will be required to work from home.
All employees whose duties and routine tasks require the use of a computer and/or internet access, will be provided library-issued equipment necessary to perform those duties and tasks as needed.
The Library Director will provide instructions for downloading/installing software for employees to perform their duties remotely.
The Library Director will coordinate the schedule for employees and contractors reporting to the library in-person to perform essential tasks so that the George F. Johnson Memorial Library remains in compliance with the state-ordered reduction of the in-person workforce. No employee or contractor is permitted to report to the George F. Johnson Memorial Library without the Library Director's authorization.
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will provide PPE as required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders. As per OSHA guidelines, employees are not financially responsible for mandated PPE. Employees may provide their own PPE if they desire. Employee’s PPE must comply with all local, state, or federal laws or Executive Orders and CDC and OSHA regulations.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will arrange for any necessary training for mandated PPE, including proper use and disposal.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will keep a supply of PPE in storage in the event a public health emergency is immediately declared. All employees will be aware of the storage location of PPE. The Library Director will monitor PPE supply levels and replenish the supply as needed in accordance with the library’s Procurement Policy.
Failure to comply with PPE mandates may result in disciplinary action.
EXPOSURE TO COMMUNICABLE DISEASE
If required by local, state or federal laws or Executive Orders, mandatory, continuous health screening practices will be implemented for all employees.
In the event an employee is exposed to a known case of the communicable disease that is the subject of the public health emergency, exhibits symptoms of such disease, or tests positive for such disease, the following procedures will be immediately implemented:
- The employee must not report to the library or they must leave the premises immediately, if already and notify the Library Director.
- The Library Director will notify both local and state health departments and will follow guidance specific to workplaces with a suspected or positive case.
- The Library Director and the employee will determine which other staff members were in close contact and possibly exposed to the communicable disease.
- The Library Director and the employee will determine which areas of the library are now considered “contaminated” and need to be immediately closed.
CLEANING CONTAMINATED AREAS
The library will immediately close off contaminated area(s). The area(s) will be quarantined for a length of time determined by local or state health departments.
After the determined length of time, the are(s) used by the employee will be cleaned, vacuumed, and disinfected including work spaces, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like computers, tablets, keyboards, and other office supplies. The area(s) will be cleaned by library staff using CDC-recommended cleaning solutions and wearing appropriate PPE.
Once the area(s) has (have) been appropriately disinfected, it (they) can be opened for use. The library will continue routine cleaning and disinfecting and logging these activities as recommended.
The Library Director will adhere to local and state guidance regarding Contact Tracing, which may include reporting or contacting other employees, contractors, visitors, and patrons who voluntarily supplied their information for the purpose of Contact Tracing who may have been in close contact with the employee suspected or confirmed to have the communicable disease. The Library Director will keep the health status of employees confidential.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will adhere to all local, state, or federal laws or Executive Orders regarding sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specific reasons related to a communicable disease.
RETURNING TO WORK
If an employee is exposed to a communicable disease or exhibits symptoms of having a communicable disease, they must follow all local and state health department directives which may include being tested for that communicable disease and/or quarantining for a specified amount of time at home.
If an employee has a suspected or confirmed case they must not report back to work until they have me all of the following criteria in consultation with a healthcare provider an in accordance with local, state, and/or federal criteria specific to the communicable disease.
All other employees will be provided instructions for returning to work dependent on the determination of risk of exposure by the local or state health department during Contact Tracing.
Reporting to work following a known-exposure to the communicable disease, having symptoms consistent with the communicable disease, or reporting to work following a positive test without being medically cleared to return to work as defined above will be considered a violation of library policy and may result in disciplinary action.
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library will not take any retaliatory action for employees not reporting to work due to a suspected or confirmed case of the communicable disease. Employees must follow established protocols for reporting an absence.
CONTINUATION OF OPERATIONS
In the event of a declared public health emergency involving a communicable disease, the Library Director will address operations according to the following outline. Some circumstances will require deviation from this sequence in order to best serve the safety and health of the library staff and community.
- Asses the emergency declaration as it relates to the library’s facilities, materials, staff, or community.
- Notify the appropriate persons including employees and the Board of Trustees.
- Determine the next steps, with the information available, regarding:
- Services or service points
- Hours of operation
- Draft a press release or statement to the public.
- Document in detail the sequence or timeline of events before, during, and after the declared public health emergency.
- Prepare for recovery.
Once approved by the Board of Trustees, this Pandemic Response Plan will be published in a clear and conspicuous location at the George F. Johnson Memorial Library and on the library’s website. A copy will be provided to all employees.
ONGOING USE EVALUATION
This Pandemic Response Plan is required by law with the health and safety of the library’s employees and community as the top priority.
The Pandemic Response Plan will be evaluated annually by the Library Director and Library Board of Trustees, and updated as needed.
Questions or concerns regarding this plan should be directed to the Library Director.
Adopted by the George F. Johnson Memorial Library Board of Trustees March 18, 2021
Strategic Plan 2024-2028
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library’s Strategic Planning process took place throughout 2023. led by a committee of library trustees and staff members. This committee worked to collect data from the community via assessment tools to gauge the library’s current and future needs. (Summaries of these reports can be found in the appendices.) In June 2023, the library conducted a survey of staff members of which there were 13 responses. A survey of the community was held both online and in the library from late June through July; this survey had 123 responses. Three focus groups were held for members of the public and the Friends of the George F. Johnson Memorial Library in July. These were facilitated by staff from the South Central Regional Library Council, and there were a total of 14 focus group participants. We also received feedback from community members who wanted to contribute but were unavailable to attend the focus groups. In August, five members of the Library’s Board of Trustees attended a retreat at the Four County Library System, which was hosted by Executive Director, Steven Bachman. An informal SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) was conducted, and the trustees’ feedback in the Board Retreat Summary represents their needs assessment of the library. The information obtained from these four methods was used in crafting the strategic plan goals for this document.
Three areas were identified in this process, which will be the focus of the goals for this strategic plan.
- Building Improvements
- Services & Collections
- Outreach & Marketing
The George F. Johnson Memorial Library exists to provide materials in varied formats, information from technological and traditional sources, and services from trained and qualified employees for library users of all ages for their recreational, educational, and lifelong learning needs. We promote policies, practices, and resources that will help people of all races, cultures, and socioeconomic statuses to have meaningful opportunities to learn and thrive and to ensure that the library is an environment where everyone is valued and respected. We vow to uphold the rights of all people of all ages under the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the guidelines of the library Bill of Rights adopted by the American Library Association Council of January 23, 1980.
STRATEGIC PLAN AREA ONE | Building Improvements
PURPOSE: Our ability to best meet the needs of our patrons and library staff is limited by the physical space of our building. Undertaking building improvement projects will work to address the use of space in the library including accessibility, safety, and productivity.
PERSONNEL: GFJ Leadership Team (Director & Department Heads), Library Board of Trustees, Project Architect or Building Planner, Project Contractors
|Renovation of media room to improve energy efficiency, safety, aesthetics, and increase the circulation and selection of adult AV materials. Capacity of materials will increase by 25%.
|Work with an architect and/or building planner to evaluate the physical space and layout of the library. Determine if it is possible to establish a better area for teens, add electrical outlets, and better delineate social and quiet spaces within the library. Other building improvement areas for potential inclusion are new reference desks, carpet replacement, and wall repair.
|Perform a cost analysis of the options determined in the second goal. Work with the State Historic Preservation Office and representatives from the Four County Library System to determine what projects are feasible within the scope of the NYS Aid for Library Construction program and the Library’s budget.
|Create a timeline to implement projects determined possible from the above cost analysis. Begin to complete these projects within this four year strategic plan cycle.
STRATEGIC PLAN AREA TWO | Services & Collections
PURPOSE: Library services and collections should continually evolve to anticipate and meet the needs of the community.
PERSONNEL: GFJ Leadership Team, Library Board of Trustees, Additional Library Staff
|Improve the Adult AV collection by adding additional materials and different types of materials once construction of the Media Room is completed.
|Evaluate digital collections and database options, and enhance them based upon what is currently available from New York State, Four County Library System, South Central Regional Library Council, and other outlets.
STRATEGIC PLAN AREA THREE | Outreach & Marketing
PURPOSE: Fostering relationships with library patrons and creating new relationships with non-library users are crucial to the future success of our library.
PERSONNEL: GFJ Leadership Team, Library Board of Trustees, Community Organizations
|Explore the possibility of having community social work organizations in the library e.g., Catholic Charities, Addiction Center of Broome County, Southern Tier Independence Center, Broome County Mental Health Department, Broome County Office for Aging. If partnerships are possible, give the group(s) space to meet and conduct their work. This will help to provide equitable access and allow our patrons to better reach these services in our community.
|Explore the feasibility of a book delivery program. If possible, implement the book delivery program by utilizing mailing or delivery services to provide homebound patrons with library materials.