TRANSCRIPT: COVID-19 Directors' Chat - June 25, 2020


Directors' Chat
Thursday, June 25, 2020


  Ellen Popit/IHLS:Good afternoon, everyone.  Happy Phase 4 Eve!

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:What's on your mind today?

  Celeste Choate = Urbana Free Library:Opening tomorrow!

  Celeste Choate = Urbana Free Library:Construction on the road in front of the Library has been going on but should be done up to our driveway as of this afternoon. fingers crossed we have a driveway to the parking lot :-)

  Angie --- Trenton Public Library:I would like to give a word of praise to the delivery team for getting these item moving in such a swift and safe manner!

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:Waiting until the 1st

  Anna-IHLS:Wow Celeste, I hope it all goes well for you.

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:I am totally rethinking moving into Phase 4 at the library.  We'd planned to move along as the state did, but I'm thinking not after seeing the rise in cases in other areas.

  Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library District):Opening on Monday at 1/3 of our normal hours.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Angie.  If Susan doesn't join us today, we'll be sure to pass that along.

  Celeste Choate = Urbana Free Library:Agreeing with @Angie. We are SO happy to have delivery again.

  Anna-IHLS:The delivery folks have been working very hard your kind words and appreciation will mean much to them

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:Susan has reported delivery has gone well.  You should see the pictures of tubs in the hubs!

  Denise Karns - Norris City Library:We opened the library building today with temporary hours and still offering porch pickup services.

  Deb Sherrick- Greenup Township Public Library:I

  Angie --- Trenton Public Library:We are expanding to our regular hours on July 1st and opening up SOME of the public computers then as well.

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:We've been open full service since June 8th, but we close an hour early each day for extra cleaning.  Have you been busy, Denise?  We're slower than usual for summer reading time.

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:We are going to continue curbside after we reopen and have an hour set aside for Seniors and At Risk when we re-open

  Beth Fuchs:Kitchell Memorial Library will fully open July 1, with social distancing and advice to wear masks in affect.  Also a few other rules.

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:We've been open 2 weeks, lobby only.  Don't see changing that for a while yet.

  Anna-IHLS:I am very confused by what I am seeing in the rest of the world. I assume you all plan to continue using masks and sorical distancing, is that correct?

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:@ Kathleen, I am waiting on approval from the health department and city officials before opening for browsing/check out and computers - all by appointment.  We are taking this slow and deliberate.  It will be easier to always move forward than to have to take steps backward.

  Joan - Germantown:We're opening the building next Monday, with masks, no restroom and only 2 computers available with 1/2 hour limit.  Also closing 1 hour early each day for cleaning

  Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library District):@Anna-Absolutely.  Mask, sanitizing, social distancing.

  Kyla Waltermire - Mississippi Valley LD:We're not as far along as most of you are - we're starting curbside service beginning July 1.  Cases continue to rise in the two counties we serve, and one of our communities has an active outbreak underway with community-wide testing being made available this week to identify how far it's spread.

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Yes, masks and hand sanitizer required upon entry.  special hours for seniors and vulnerable and social distancing.

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:Masks, hand sanitizer, distancing, no computer, no restrooms, no lingering.

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:How are you enforcing masks?

  Beth Fuchs:Thanks to the brave delivery personnel!  They are very much appreciated!

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:We strongly request masks and have distancing markers on the floor.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Kyla---glad you're taking it slow.

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:When we allow patrons in the stacks we will ask them to sanitize before handling the materials.  

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:If no mask, then ordering online for pick up as we've been doing.

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:Paxton that is what we are doing also

  Anna-IHLS:I know that so many of you have done everything to find out as much as you can about the virus and its spread and take this seriously. I am just kind of gobsmacked when I see people ignoring the rules. I hope people have been complying.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Hi Everyone. Staunton is in curbside mode right now. We are opening Mon. July 6 Masks and social distancing, germ x stations everywhere>>

  Denise Karns - Norris City Library:Kathleen, we have been somewhat busy and the phone has been steady.  How has it been for you and your area?

  Kyla Waltermire - Mississippi Valley LD:@Ellen - I'm glad you are!  Our patrons are understandably getting frustrated and it's quite frankly weighing on me

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Ellen, I know we're not supposed to force holds.  I was wondering if that includes placing a hold with an in the future date for it to be activated, too?  Just don't want to cause a problem.

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:Most of the townsfolk here are NOT wearing masks. They look at me like I'm an alien.

  Janet Carlinville:We have had only one person object to wearing a mask.  We served them curbside.  We have hand sanitizer near the front door.  We have not had any local cases.  We are prepared to step back if any cases emerge.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):We are getting those carpet dots this week. plexiglass in place.. three computers set at 6 ft apart.. Fun Times

  Teresa Pennington (Paris):Going by what I've seen in the few local stores I've been in, requiring masks isn't going to work. Thinking of "strongly encouraging" instead.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Kathleen, I'm sorry I can't answer that, but I see Cassandra Thompson online and that question is right up her alley!

  Anna-IHLS:@Janet, I think the willingness to be flexible and to not expect a straight line toward being virus free is a good plan.

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Slower than usual the first week, but steadily picking up.  I've put that we're open on Facebook and in the newspaper, but we still keep getting lots of calls asking.  Not everyone gets the paper or uses Facebook. :-)

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Janet. I am glad to hear it is going well in Carlinville:)

  Beth Fuchs:What is your advice if we have to shut down completely in the fall or future?  Do we furlough the staff and lock the doors again?

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Sorry!  I didn't see that she was on. Oops!

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:@Kathleen if you are putting in a hold with an activation date after 7/1 that will be fine.

  Felicia - Eldorado:hello! Eldorado will open July 6th at reduced hours for the time being.

  Angie --- Trenton Public Library:@Anna-IHLS  As you know the Trenton Public Library never fully closed.  We have never had a problem with patrons complying with the rules.  :)

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Cassandra, is that ok to do, or should we just wait till July 1st?

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Thank you!

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):I agree with you Janet, It could change at a moments notice and we go back to curbside. the message is If you want your library to be open, you have to wear a mask.. I hope it works.

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:@ Julie, I hope it works, too.

  Scott Drone-Silvers (Lake Land College):Angie, what exactly do you put in the water there?

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:Ellen & Anna: are we still on track for the July 6th full delievery service being available?

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:Angie Lucky you

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:@Angie, yes, inquiring minds want to know

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:We opened on Monday and only one young (teenager)  and one senior citizen did not wear a mask in.  The senior citizen was in and out so fast that I did not have a chance to say anything.  I asked the teen to wear a mask and showed here where the

  Teresa Pennington (Paris):Did you see the sign templates Demco is offering free? I saved them to my google drive and can't find the email again, but they are much better than the state signs. Customizable too.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:"free" ones are and she complied.  Not as many people in as I had expected....

  Anna-IHLS:@Angie yes your patrons have been very cooperative because you had a good plan and I am sure they have been grateful too. Your size is both a blessing and a curse. But you managed to make it work to your advantage.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Beth.  Did you furlough this spring?

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Deb, I am an alien in most stores. Our grocery store is making everyone wear a mask.. employees too so I am grateful for that.. hopefully it will help get the word out about the library.

  Deb Sherrick- Greenup Township Public Library 2:I, too, want to thank the delivery team . Will the hubs still hold items for 7 days with the finding that the virus isn't viable after 3?

  Angie --- Trenton Public Library:I believe it is because patrons were 1. Grateful that we were open  2.  Knew we would shut it all down in a heartbeat if they didn't comply.  Now they are used to just "doing what we ask".  LOL

  Beth Fuchs:We furloughed with pay March and April. 

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Deb, I believe the hubs will only quarentine for 3 days.

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:Julie..I hope we don't have major issues when we open up more. If they want to use the Library, they must comply!

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):I actually like curbside-- we are going to keep it in now as needed. Another great way to service our patrons

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:We furloughed with pay March 16th through the end of May. We could do that because of the way our fiscal year works.

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:We

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:We have been offering no contact pick up for some time..working well. We will continue to offer that option.

  Angie --- Trenton Public Library:Curbside was never an option for us because we are located in a residential area and we do not have a parking lot.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Beth, maybe that's a conversation your board can have in the next few months.  Look at your finances and see what's appropriate.

  Kyla Waltermire - Mississippi Valley LD:For those offering curbside - how are you verifying a patron's identification?

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:Are most libraries still offering a bit of an extended "grace" period for returning materials? I am quarantining materials and another library sent a bill to one of the people that had returned the items on time but I was quaratining the items.  It will honk my patrons off if they get bills because of my quaratine time....

  Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library District):I'll continue curbside for quite awhile even after opening back up.  So many of my patrons loved it and we have it down to a science.

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:We are forgiving any fees

  Teresa Pennington (Paris):We're still waiving late fees, but we turned on notices. It was the best way to get the word out to bring stuff back

  Teri Hennessy Loda Township Library:yes, we're forgiving fines also

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Angie- that is the message I want to project too-- It could all change in a heartbeat if we do not comply to some boundaries. Glad to hear you are all doing well with the health crisis.

  Anna-IHLS:@Lisa, I think you are right about the patrons loving it and I bet most will want all of you to keep it going.

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:@Kathleen, quarantined items get a pass from Greenville.

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:We are checking in right away (wearing gloves and masks) and then quarentining for 72 hours

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:Is there anyway to encourage a system wide forgiveness of overdue fees?

  Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library District):We had sent out a message on FB and our webpage to return all materials that were checked out prior to closing in March by this Friday.  After that, fines will apply. 

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Kathleen, if the items were checked in before going to quarantine, wouldn't it have showed in-transit so it wouldn't look like it was still checked out?  Just wondering.

  Deb Sherrick- Greenup Township Public Library 2:We are waiving all fines for overdue items as well.

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:@Kathleen if you are quarantining, we can set a shelving status to add time. You would still have to check them in first. Another option is to do a bulk extension of your due dates.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:I am not checking items in first.  I set them aside for a week and then check them in.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Deb, I stand corrected by Susan Palmer.  You will receive tubs with dates on which the items inside were last touched.  You'll be quarentining at your own library, not at the hub.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):We are forgiving fines too, and extending non resi for the meantime.. we shall see what happens in the fall- Just trying to be a nicer gentler place of comfort and joy right now.. not browbeating anyone for a 1.20 fine when they want to order an ebook.. LOl,,

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:We are quarantining items that come in for 3 days, so we are waiving all late fees as well.  Plus during the shutdown our Board voted for us to go fine-free, anyway, so....

  Deb Paxton Carnegie Library:I quarantine and then check in.

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:We check in and then quarantine.  Masks, etc.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:I have extended my due date to three weeks but if patrons return items on the last day of the three week time frame and then I quarantine them, they will get on overdue notice.

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:@kathleen, just make sure to select free days for 7 days when you check in. No fines will be charged in that instance.

  Scott Drone-Silvers (Lake Land College):Cassandra, that would be a good piece of information to put on the SHARE list

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:Thank you!  That works for me!

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:Unfortunately there is no way to avoid the overdue notice if you don't check them in first, unless you'd like us to temporarily disable overdue notices.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Is there a way to extend our overdue notices to end of July? do I send an email to Dena ? We are quarantining 72 hrs then checking in items. all fines waived right now.

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:Julie, please email and we can do a bulk change of all of your due dates.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:Can you do this library by library, disable the overdue notices?

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Thank you Cassandra. will do

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:Yes we can.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:Lovely! Thank you!  I will send a note in - to you or Dena?  I am going to wait a day or two, though, as several people are paying off their account from the overdue notices recently sent.  That has gone fairly well here. Thank you!

  Scott Drone-Silvers (Lake Land College):I have staff that would like us to close our stacks, but I suspect we'd be the only library in the area doing that. LLC is being VERY conservative about reopening ideas so far...

  Cassandra Thompson, IHLS:Kathleen, please send it to and we will get it switched. Thanks!

  Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library District):I'm keeping my stacks closed when I reopen to see how things go.  I have browsing available for new books and new DVDs.  I'm just not ready to say "have at it."

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:@Scott - our stacks are closed to the public.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Scott.  Do you think you'd be the only academic doing that?

  Scott Drone-Silvers (Lake Land College):Ellen, I don't know, to be perfectly honest.

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:At what point will you draw the line concerning forgiving overdue fines?  What will you do with patrons who claim to not know they had to return items?  Are you personally calling each patron with items out to let them know they need to return them? 

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Scott.  I don't sense that a huge percentage of our public libraries have their stacks open yet.

  Beth Fuchs:Will there be any grants or aide to recover Covid-19 expenses for cleaning supplies, plexi-glass costs, etc?

  Teresa Pennington (Paris):@Jo - yes, we are contacting everyone by phone, email, text, etc. that it's time to bring things back

  Anna-IHLS:@Scott I know one of the other colleges is not opening the library at all until end of  August.

  Kyla Waltermire - Mississippi Valley LD:We're just moving into curbside service.  Those who are already offering this service, how are you verifying patrons' identities before checking out or delivering them curbside?

  Scott Drone-Silvers (Lake Land College):We are "opening" on July 6th, but that is a soft opening. Only Fac/staff, and my staff won't be there more than 50% of their normal schedule, at least until August

  Anna-IHLS:@Beth, I am sorry that I have not hear of any yet. But that reminds me of something I am curiour about. When Gov. Pritzker was in West FRankfort recently he mention DCEO money for Southern Illinois. Does anyone know anything about that?

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:@Kyla We aren't checking anything once they pick up.  Items on hold, they call to schedule a time to pick-up, we check them out on their card, put them in a bag and palce them on a table in the lobby.  We never see them pick-up.  Yes, things could go missing but I would imagine that is a samll percentage and I am willing ot rish that

  Lisa Winters (Allerton Public Library District):@Teresa - that is a good idea.  My patron size is such that I could easily send out personal e-mail notices to ask that items be returned.  Honestly the notices that went out earlier this week help me.  Our phones rang off the hook and I received a mulititude of e-mails about overdue materials.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Jo- I am not sure yet about those over due items and when to draw the line on needing items back, charging for lost items, etc.. Great question.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:@ Jo, if someone calls who said they already paid off a fine, then we take their word for it and waive the fine.  If it is an item that has not been returned then we ask for them to pay for the replacement cost of the item.  It is case by case.  It's not worth it to me to argue over a small fine.

  Kathleen Rister - Groff Memorial:Anna, our local radio station had an announcement about it., under the State News section.

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:On identifying the patrons on curbside. They have to call us to for us to bring things out and ID their cars.

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:@Kyla, patrons place a hold on the SHARE system, we call and give them an appointment day/time, just before their appointment time we check the items out and put them in a bag, they call when they arrive, we walk out and put the bag on the bench, then watch to see them pick it up. 

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:I have a feeling that the funding the Governor mentioned might go directly to families in need.

  Teresa Pennington (Paris):We started out with over 1000 items out. We're down to 266, including items still in quarantine.

  Beth Fuchs:I was going to ask our school superintendent for a way to verify free or reduced lunch scoop ate children so we can meet the Governor’s new law to provide free out of district cards.  Is that OK?

  Anna-IHLS:I think we can use any money the governor makes available as a good way for the libraries to make inroads with local officials by making them aware of it, asking how you might help, and them making your public aware.

  Beth Fuchs:school age

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:@ Beth I was under the impression that we were supposed to wait for some direction from the State library before we issued the non-res cards to kids

  Anna-IHLS:@Kathleen, thank you.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Jill.  I think that would be a prudent move.  I haven't seen any real interpretation yet.

  Beth Fuchs:Our local bank was paying for a family card for anyone needing assistance, so we will lose money if we have to provide free cards.  I thought this was signed and a law for one year already.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:I would also think there would have to been some ammendment to the laws governing non-resident cards.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Beth, the law was only recently signed.

  Kathleen Bennett  - Catlin Public:I thought there was a "rumor" that individual library boards could "vote" to choose NOT to participate?  Is there some truth to that or just a rumor?

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:Regarding government offices being closed on election day - is it confirmed that this applies to libraries (unless they are a polling place)?

  Beth Fuchs:Yes.  So do we abide by it now or wait for further instructions?

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:Beth the ROE for your area should have that information

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:Beth, that legislation is HB 2096 and was only signed at the end of May.

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:@Beth I think these small details are what the state library needs to resolve for us.  This card is fir kids not families.  Can we restrict the card to only being able to check out material for juveniles?  Lots of adminstrative rules need to be clarified so libraries are exercising the law consistently

  Teresa Pennington (Paris):@Kathleen You can not issue nonresident cards at all - that's the only way out

  Beth Fuchs:Good.  Thank you all!

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:We are lucky, other libraries are closer to the unserved areas than we are

  Anna-IHLS:@Jill, I agree some of the questions will have to be resolved at  a higher level for libraries to accurately implement it.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Does the law apply to only those areas in the most need or to all areas in the state?

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Teresa, here's what was written in the Municipal Minute:   HB 2096 also amends the Illinois Local Library Act and the Public Library District Act of 1991 to create the Cards for Kids Act. If signed by the Governor, this would prohibit a library from charging nonresident fees for the privilege and use of a library to a nonresident in an unincorporated area in Illinois who is a student whose household falls at or below the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Income Eligibility Guidelines. The legislation also removed provisions that previously allowed libraries not to participate in nonresident card reciprocal borrowing programs of a regional library system.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:Julie, it applies statewide and as others have said, we have to wait for interpretation from our colleagues at the state library.

  Kristina Benson-Du Quoin Library:I never could find a definition of student attached.  Does the student have to be a juvenile or does it apply to any student?  So many questions.

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Okay. I will wait for more clarification then. I wonder if it would just be easier to team up with my local school district on this? something else to think about. Thanks.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Kristina, that's the kind of detail we're waiting for.

  Kristina Benson-Du Quoin Library:@Ellen.  Yep.  Thank you for your work.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:How's summer reading going?

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:SLOW!

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:I think it is confsuing for families to have to wade thru all the online stuff.  A bit of online overload I feel

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):LOL,, still thinking about it. we just go back in curbside mode on June 8.. back pack SRP is the plan, we have all our art kits ordered, hope to get some dates in line soon.

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:Regarding government offices being closed on election day - is it confirmed that this applies to libraries (unless they are a polling place)?

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:@ Carrie: I heard there was going to be more discussion on this topic and that it was not set in stone...yet

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:@Carrie.  That's another topic that needs to be fleshed out as well. 

  Johnnie Halstead Rick Warren Library:Regarding Carrie Russells comment on closing for Election Day...I said something to my board President and she said we have never closed for Election Day before. Is this clear that we have to close?

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:There are issues with the election day in regards to contracts that have written in holidays and this not being in the contract, etc...the devil is in the details

  Bill from Mt. Vernon:Summer Reading? About half last year's numbers for kids, but we've added Adults and Teens which paertially makes up for the lower numbers fior kids

  Kristina Benson-Du Quoin Library:@Johnnie, the library and the City Water Office are closing.  The polling location and police will still be here.  If that helps. 

  Anna-IHLS:I am going to have to leave a little early. As always so nice to hear from you and look forward to discussing more stuff soon.

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:@ Johnnie If the Govenor delcares it a one time holiday then I would say yes otherwise you would be in violation.  Again, this is only for the Novemeber 2020 election

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:@Jill @Ellen, thank you.  My board keeps asking.

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:At Johnnie, I'd encourage her to look at the action the governor took.  Here's one link:

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:It's only June and I feel confident this will be resolved by August/September.

  Johnnie Halstead Rick Warren Library:Ok Thank You all

  Jill Pifer-FVHP:Enjoy the afternoon! Bye

  Julie Jarman (Staunton):Thanks everyone! have a good weekend

  Ellen Popit/IHLS:Have a great afternoon and an even better weekend!

  Jo - Greenville Public Library:Thank you for all the information.

  Carrie Russell - Maroa Public Library:Thank you!! 

  Denise Karns - Norris City Library:Thank you so much!