TRANSCRIPT: COVID-19 Directors' Chat - August 20, 2020


Directors' Chat
Thursday, August 20, 2020


Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): While you are waiting for the meeting to start here is something to read: The Illinois Library Association listened when small and rural libraries outside the Chicago metropolitan area said they wanted a voice in the organization.  At last year’s ILA conference, the Small and Rural Libraries Forum (SARLF) was created. As we build the organization, individuals do not need to be a member to join this group.  We want you to join and let your needs, concerns and voices be heard. Find out more here:

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): The ILA Small and Rural Libraries Forum will hold its first webinar, Reopening Small and Rural Libraries: What Went Right, What Went Wrong, and What is Next?, on Wednesday, September 2, 10:00 a.m. - Noon. Something will soon be appearing so keep checking the ILA website for more information and to register.  Please support our own Bobbi Perryman, Janet McAllister, Tammy Grah and Krystal Gulley as they are joined by Charm Ruhnke (Peru), Christy Stupegia (LaSalle), Alissa Williams (Morton) and Cathy  Grafton (Odell).

Gary, Worden PLD: I'm registered for the webinar.

Bill from mMt. Vernon: How small is small and how rural is rural?

Gary, Worden PLD: One person on our staff tested positive for COVID and we will have to close for several days.  Where do I go to suspend delivery?

Julia, IHLS: Don't forget about the new ISL grants. (Back to Books, Digiital Network Access for Illinois Libraries & Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Illinois Public Libraries. The deadline is Sept. 30 :

Shari / Hope Welty:  Do we need to quarantine books for 5 days now. Our delivery drive told us, but I didn't get an email.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): If you feel comfortable being a part of ARSL or  feel like you may get value from being a member please join.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: @Shari!  Stay tuned for a message from Susan Palmer.

Diana Donahoo_CentraliaRLD: @Anna I recently joined ARSL.

Shari / Hope Welty: We are going to do a storytime outside at the park. Parents are excited to try.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: @Shari!  If you get weather as lovely as today, you'll be in great shape!

Teresa (Paris): Hope that the new forum's webinar will be recorded. I'm working that morning.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: @Gary, you can contact your hub manager Linda Petty at Do you also want to temporarily suspend interlibrary loan service? If you do, patrons will not be able to place non-local holds, so it is up to you if you want to take that step. P

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Please also submit a closing dates form for SHARE

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: I'm sorry to hear about your staff member.

Gary, Worden PLD: Thanks, Cassandra.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: How is everyone doing this week?

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): ADSL is very inexpensive and wonderful. I did not express myself very clearly if anyone is a member of ARSL they should also be a member of  the Small and Rural Public Libraries Forum. We need  a voice for Illinois libraries within our own state.

Teresa (Paris): Recovering from last Friday night's "excitement".

Gary, Worden PLD: The staff member travelled to Missouri on Amtrak.  Amtrak was not enforcing rules concerning mask wearing and social distancing.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): We are planning Member Days and our Member day so keep watching our media for more details as we lock down details.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): How is everyone?

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: SHARE has been getting more reports of libraries closing temporarily or schools suspending ILL. Our tech guru Brant has created a tool for SHARE members to see if a library is open and to check their status:

Kami -Germantown: Non library related, but my 4th grader started school virtually yesterday.  We will learn something new every day.  :-)

Angie --- Trenton Public: To be honest...I'm emotionally stuggling.  Feel like there is more and more that is being piled on (having 4 meetings to go over the entire Serving our Public 4.0 book, for example).  It feels very isolated and overwhelming for me right now.

Mary Ray: Doing fine. Our delivery driver also told me about 5 day quarantine.

Bill from mMt. Vernon: I asked because I am not sure my library counts as such.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): In three posts back that should be ARSl not ADRL. ARSL stands for the Association of  Rural and Small Libraries.

Carrie Russell (Maroa Public): What are ARSL and ADSL?  I'm not familiar with those.

Carrie Russell (Maroa Public): LOL Never mind.

Shari / Hope Welty: We are doing great right now. But seems more and more things are being required of us each day.

Teresa (Paris): ARSL's conference is virtual this year and very affordable. First time in my career I will get to attend a library organization's annual conference!

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): @Bill or anyone else trying to decide if yo0u are small enough, I think you would qualify and I say join and see if it is a good fit. It does not cost you anything and we will apprecaite anything you want to contribute.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: @Angie, I know that I feel the same sometimes. Does anyone have any self-care ideas that are helping right now? I just recently downloaded an audiobook of rain forest sounds. sometimes a quick breather helps.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: @Angie, there are a lot of people in the library community that have your back.  Please don't hesistate to reach out to colleagues!

Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial: Angie, hang in there!  I feel the same way.  We had one staff member quit while we were shut down with no notice.  Another part-time is on maternity leave and the other can only work a few evenings because of a full-time day job.  It's just me all day.  I'm not looking too pretty right now, to say the least!  LOL

Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library): I agree with being overwhelmed.  I'm just exhausted EVERYDAY.

Teresa (Paris): @Lisa  I think that we all are exhausted.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): @Angie you are doing great things. We are here for you.

Jackie CAMP: Angie i understand, it is tough we are planning to start in the park story time next week and we hope it goes well. For the serving our public 6 of our board members got 2 chapers each and  1 got the technology chapter since it was so long

Ellen Popit/IHLS: Heard the Director at IDPH at the governor's press conference yesterday talk about the need to work on being our healthiest selves as we approach the winter.  I thought that was good advice!

Jackie CAMP: They will each read their chapters and go thru the checklist and just report their findings

Angie --- Trenton Public: I have 2 VERY part time people, so essentially it is just me here.  And usually I am ok with that.  But I realized how much I depended on positive feedback from my patrons as far as what the library is doing (programs, displays, new layouts, etc.).  Now with the quick in and out and no lingering, plus the increasingly added "work" requirements from the State just feels like I "can't dance any faster".  SIGH

Angie --- Trenton Public: Sorry for the rant

Gary, Worden PLD: Angie, I just went over the checklists for all of the chapters, selected some requirements to work on, and will present these at the next meeting.  I'm not going to do a comprehensive review unless explicitly asked to.  

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Things are going OK here. Had a Board Member quit, but he was new and got talked into the job when a friend of his who was on the board moved to Florida.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): @Diana and Theresa, I am so glad you are part of ARSL and are attending the conference they have a fantastic program line-up. For those who attend let us know what you liked and we can see if we can get the presenters or programs on similar topics  for CE events at IHLS.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: @Angie, this is a fine place for ranting.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: @Angie, please don't apologize. This is a place to ask for support.

Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial: Angie, that is what we are here for!

Susan IHLS: Hi! Yes we are in the process of getting the word out that we are moving to a 5 day quarantine. This is in direct response to the REALM testing results.

Carrie Russell (Maroa Public): @Angie - I hear your rant so much!  I've only been a Director for 8 months.  Learning the ropes AND Covid has had me close to giving up several times.

Amanda McKay--Effingham Public Library: We did the same thing as Gary--I brought the checklists to my board meeting, we reviewed the areas that we were deficient in and we are calling it good for now!

Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial: I made a table with the meeting dates and assigned every board member a chapter for each meeting.  Didn't ask, just sent it out.  Results may vary.  Ha!

Annette Columbia Public: @Gary good idea

Jackie CAMP: Don't give up Carrie, it will get better

Susan IHLS: More information will be coming out.

Ashley Stewart - Caseyville PLD: Some libraries are starting to lay off employees - I am curious why and how that can happen. Luckily, we have been receiving our payments from the county and we are a district library so I am sure that helps.

Jackie CAMP: Ashley we are receiving our payments as well.

Shari / Hope Welty:  Has anyone heard when we might be getting our Per Cap Grant money. I got the letter saying we would get it.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): I can't imagine doing with fewer people? Is anyone on this conversation taking the route of laying people off.

Jackie CAMP: Kathleen we did the same thing stuck to chapters in an evelope and mailed them out

Angie --- Trenton Public: Amanda McKay --- I LOVE that approach.  I believe that is what I will do as well.  That certainly helps.

Ashley Stewart - Caseyville PLD: Just wanting myself and our board to be prepared in case there other scenarios that we haven't considered yet.

Jackie CAMP: two chapters

Gary, Worden PLD: Could the PPE grant be used to pay for a professional cleaning to disinfect the library?

Shari / Hope Welty:  We are not laying off

Teresa (Paris): @Shari  My  per capita is listed as payment pending on Comptroller site.

Kami -Germantown: I hope we don't have to lay anyone off.  There are only 2 of us.  :-)

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Not yet, but we haven't recieved our money yet. Usually don't until late Sept. early Oct.

Angie --- Trenton Public: We received our tax payment today...and it was comparable to last year's payment.  I was expecting less because of COVID

Esther Curry--CE Brehm Memorial PLD: We aren't laying anyone off. But our numbers are low enough that we don't always call someone in to cover someone who's called in sick.

Amanda McKay--Effingham Public Library: We won't have to lay off, but our tax receipts will be extremely delayed. The bills have yet to go out, so I won't see receipts until November (7 months into our fiscal year). I would suspect that some are laying off because of that as well as not all libraries are funded by property taxes--those funded by sales tax must be hurting quite a lot.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: @Amanda, I'm afraid you're correct.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: This year, the PrairieCat Users Group (PUG) has moved to virtual conference sessions, and they have invited members from other library systems/consortia to participate. Registration links and program descriptions are on the PrairieCat website on the PUG Days page:

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Next Tuesday will feature a presentation from the Cataloging Maintenance Center.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: Also, registration is open for the virtual Illinois Library Association Conference:

Carrie Russell (Maroa Public): We are not laying off anyone since their paychecks are budgeted already.  We've already been recieving our tax payments, so we are in pretty good shape, tbh.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale):  I think one of the hardest things about all of this is that we really do not know what to expect from the virus or how it will impact us. Uncertainty is anxiety inducing. I have seen several articles about doing small taks that you can satisfactorily complete and take a second to enjoy it.

Shari / Hope Welty:  We also have  gotten our tax payments

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): I also know that the same parts of your brain are stimulated in planning a desirable trip as those that are activiated by travel.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): I offer these suggests as way to relieve some of the stress.

Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library): We are still open reduced hours for now.  I'm sending my employees home to rest everyday.  I just don't want anyone to get overwhelmed (more than they are) and I want to try to keep everyone healthy.

Jackie CAMP: We are going to keep our reduced at least for Sept. My assitant is also dealing with her daughter returning to school and elearning 3 days a week.

Shari / Hope Welty:  Lisa - that sounds like a good idea to rest

Ellen Popit/IHLS: So many people are juggling so much!  I like the resting idea, as well.

Shari / Hope Welty:  How long  do you ssend them home to rest?

Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library): @ Shari - two hours a day.

Kelsey Schaep--Nashville PL: We're keeping reduced hours for the forseeable future too. We just aren't seeing enough people to justify expanding our hours.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): Ot to raise anyone's anxiety levels but has anyone completed reading and discussing Serving Our Public with their boards?

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Did a chart to compare circulation to the unemployment rate for our county. It matches pretty good, more circs then worse the unemployment. Always suspected it, but now I have proof.

Jackie CAMP: Kelsey, I am so glad you said that, we aren't getting that many folks in to warrent more hours, but we still have people asking everyday when are we going back to our regular hours

Bill from mMt. Vernon: the worse the unemployment

Jackie CAMP: warrant

Carrie Russell (Maroa Public): My board all requested copies, so theirs are on order.  I'm printing a chapter a week for my staff to all read and discuss the checklists.

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Did two chapters at the last Board meeting. Plan on two more the next meeting.

Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library): @ Anna - I'm half way through Serving Our Public with my board.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): @Lisa that is excellent

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): @Bill that is really powerful data

Kami -Germantown: About half way through Serving our public.  Checklists are helpful.

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Want me to send the data to you?

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): @Bill I would llike to see the data. I wonder if anyone else  could look at reproducing that . I think you are spot on about the correlation. @Kami, that is really great. Exceptional for a new director to get your board that engaged.

Kami -Germantown: I don't know any better and they aren't fighting me so I just assign a few chapters for each meeting.  :-)

Alyson - Marshall Library: Bill- I would be interested in seeing that data as well please!

Ellen Popit/IHLS: @Bill, we can get you contact information for people asking for the data.

Bill from mMt. Vernon: OK

Ellen Popit/IHLS: How are the schools in your communities doing?

Kami -Germantown: We were supposed to start on the 17th, but cases were up in our area so the new start date is Aug. 31st.

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Grade school in town is going all remote, the High school two days a week for half the students, two other days for the other half. Not sure about the other county schools (we have 13 school districts in the county!!!)

Teresa (Paris): @ Jackie  We hear that questions every day, too.  Same scenario.

Nichole (Millstadt): Our school called us to see if we could have some kids use our wifi and computers. I told them we could before we open to the public. We just don't have any room.

Esther Curry--CE Brehm Memorial PLD: We've had a school in our district have a teacher test positive. They haven't started school yet, so they are still going to open, but with additional modifications. The Mt Vernon city schools are going to be full remote for the first month--just picked up Abby's packet for 5th grade. Not sure how any of this is going to work.

Brenda Gilpatrick Red Bud Public Library: @Ellen, We started in person Monday. So far so good.

Shari / Hope Welty:  Schools in our town are doing half day everyday but and do e learning if you want.

Teresa (Paris): @Bill  A former director here always said that - the worse the economy the better the circ - and that was way before public computers were added to the mix.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: @Esther and any other working moms: I got an email from my daycare/KinderCare that they are offering remote learning support. I don't know if you would find that helpful on top of what the schools will already be offering, but I wanted to share.

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): I am very interested in how having students back at SIU wiil impact our rated of infection in Jackson County. Anyone else have universities that may impact them?

Sarah-Camargo Township District Library: Our Schools here in Villa Grove just started today. We have some kids going on two diffrent days. Blue days will go on Mondays and Wednesdays and Gold days will go on Tuesdays and  Thursdays. Remote learning on Fridays.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Did you see that the University of Illinois now has an exposure tracking app for residents of Illinois? It's called Safer Illinois

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: I found it after reading an article about these types of technology solutions in The Washington Post.

Esther Curry--CE Brehm Memorial PLD: @Cassandra--I'm very lucky that my daycare is offering support for remote learning. I'm just not sure how smoothly it will run. This is new for everyone, so we're all on a learning curve.

Teresa (Paris): @Cassandra   Sounds like the app is specifically for U of I, not the entire state

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Esther, that is wonderful. It's all new territory, that's for sure.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: @Teresa, there's a section to list if you are an Illinois resident, you don't have to be a student/faculty/staff.

Teresa (Paris): thanks

Bill from mMt. Vernon: Take care everybody, stay safe

Shari / Hope Welty:  Have a great weekend. Be careful

Jackie CAMP: Hang in there everyone!

Kay Burrous  South Macon: Be safe!!!

Carrie Russell (Maroa Public): Take care!  <3

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend.

Ellen Popit/IHLS: Take good care, everyone!  You're all doing good and important work!

Anna Y- IHLS (Carbondale): Take care all and remember to rest and refresh. You are doing good work and much better than you think you are. See you next week.