Published 6/24/2021 9:41 AM CT
Good morning! I have received many questions about exchange points.
IHLS is still maintaining COVID procedures used before Illinois went to Phase 5. We are continuing to wear masks, wipe high-touch areas, take the temperature of our staff, and keeping the no-contact exchange points.
We will be evaluating not just the IHLS policy for our staff, but in Delivery, we will be evaluating the exchange points. I do hear what is being said in regards to the convenience for both library and IHLS staff. Evaluating the exchange points will be done on a case-by-case basis. We will not automatically go back to pre-COVID drop-off points. There is a value in having these drop-off points close to the door and essentially being contactless. There were libraries where we were entering, walking through the building, going behind the circulation desk (with the staff there), and then getting the tubs, which often were not ready to go. I only say this to highlight why we are going to have to look at individual cases.
This is our quandary. Do we begin this evaluation now, or do we begin the evaluation when IHLS has lifted the restrictions for staff? There will be some libraries where we will keep the contactless exchange points. Like I said, it will not be an across-the-board return to pre-COVID exchange points. The locations for the exchange points have to make sense for both libraries and IHLS. Funding has remained the same, and we need to look where we can be more efficient and good stewards of the funding we do receive (which I know is a concern for all of us).
We will have more internal conversations within the next week as to what these evaluations/conversations look like. If you are one of the libraries that would like to be considered in having your exchange point changed, please reach out to your hub manager, Linda Petty or Linda Kates. They will keep a list of libraries to contact.
As always, I appreciate you sharing concerns/ideas/thoughts. Feel free to reach out to me.
Susan Palmer, Operations Director