Amending policies can slow down the re-implementation of in-person programming and reopening efforts. A note that organizations should evaluate if these policy recommendations would be better suited as guidelines, practices, or procedures.
Policies or guidelines that libraries may wish to put in place, explore, or refresh are:
- While, as of June 15, 2021 vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks indoors (State of California), library mask policies may continue into the near future. Therefore, organizations should have a policy on mask wearing as well as a timeline of triggers/milestones/benchmarks that may cause a shift in policy. Find California’s most recent mask requirements on the Ca.gov website.
- Trauma-informed approach
- Please review Defining Trauma Informed for an understanding of a trauma-informed approach in your organization.
- If an organization is committed to providing services and programming with a trauma-informed approach, we can recommend the following short-term areas to be examined and considered in regard to transitioning to in-person programming for staff and/or community members:
- Anxiety of crowds or multiple people in an enclosed space
- Anxiety of illnesses or symptoms of illnesses, such as sneezing, coughing, sniffling
- Depression from losing loved ones, being ill, side effects of illness, and missing milestones
- Anxiety over unemployment, distance learning, and transitioning to in-person schooling.
- Separation anxiety from home and household members
- Anxiety and stress around places or persons such as hospitals and doctors, police stations and police, etc.
(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Code of conduct
- Most organizations have a Code of Conduct in place detailing acceptable behavior as well as the consequences if behavior practices are not followed. Due to the “new normal” of a post COVID-19 world, we recommend organizations reexamine their Code of Conduct to determine if it needs adjustments. Adjustments may include those that involve food and drink consumption in the library.
- Depending on the organization, a programming policy or guidelines may already be in place. Now is a good time for this policy to be reviewed and updated for outdated or non-inclusive language.
- If an organization does not have a programming policy, guidelines or standard, the transition to post-COVID-19 might provide the opportunity to draft one. The purpose of a programming policy is to provide continuity of the type of programs offered as well as reflect the organization’s mission, vision and value statement. Inclusive language is recommended.