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MCDA Reopening Considerations for Public LIbraries
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Michigan Public Libraries:

Re-opening Considerations after closures during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Intent, Scope and Purpose of this document:

Intent – to identify areas of concern that member libraries may need to address when determining temporary procedures upon reopening to the public.

Scope – to consider what type and level of measures would be needed to protect the staff and the public.

Purpose – to generate a list of possible issues that a reasonable person would generally find to be of concern in the current COVID-19 work environment. The list shall be representative in nature only and is not meant to be exhaustive; the administrators of member libraries are encouraged to consult with the director of their county health department and legal counsel for further information on requirements.

Deepest gratitude to Dale Parus, director, Ionia Community Library, and to the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Library Association, and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services for their multiple webinars and shared resources that were instrumental in creating this document.

Please contact your Cooperative Director for further questions and information. We are here to help!

Michigan Library Cooperative Directors Association

April 17, 2020


Library Hours:

Re-open in phases:

Social Distancing: 


Building Capacity

Building Logistics


Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and other supplies:


Returning of Items

Checkout of Items

Self-Checkout Stations

Loaning Items in the Building

Delivery of materials (RIDES, Local for some Coops)


When RIDES service resumes, courier procedures:

  1. Current CDC recommendations are posted and followed at each facility.
  2. Drivers/sorters wear gloves when sorting.
  3. Drivers are required to wear masks & gloves when making deliveries.
  4. Drivers will not obtain signatures when making a delivery.
  5. Drivers expressing or exhibiting symptoms are required to stay home.

Libraries should *not* attempt to clean another library’s materials, unless there is visible evidence of contamination.


RIDES staff are communicating with all of the participating libraries via the email lists. (4/29/2020)


Physical and Mental Health of Patrons


   Food and Beverages





Additional Resources 

Colorado Library Consortium’s “Returning to Service”: 

“Communicating during Coronavirus” Harvard Business Review Article

COVID-19 information, here is a page for Ploud libraries compiled by Sonya Norris: 

Georgia Regents Public Library Advisory Committee plan for library service:

IMLS/CDC webinar-Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections

NM State Library: Public Services Return to Work/Library Re-Opening Plan:

A Phased Reopening Plan for Libraries as COVID 19 Restrictions Are Lifted, John Thill

Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19: Guidance for Governors from Johns Hopkins University. [4/20: Footnote added on page 16 regarding public libraries]