We’ve learned that the original period of PA public library closure has extended through at least April 6.
During the first closure, which was announced more suddenly, if you hadn’t taken action by Saturday morning (closing as soon as possible was advised), PaILS applied a SPARKwide setting and implemented the Emergency Closing Handler with settings that we saw as a best practice to extend access, stop fines and overdues, and to extend the dates of items on the hold shelf. If you had already applied the feature, your settings were not changed. If you hadn’t applied it, PaILS staff took initiative and applied it from 3/2 – 4/6, which allowed forgiveness of a few accruing fines and pushed due dates to April 7 for library items to be returned without penalty. We also turned off major patron facing notices and added a message to your catalog about the closing.
Now, there is more time for your location to apply the Emergency Closing Handler on your own to determine the best practice for your own organization. It’s a great and easy feature to apply.
PaILS staff can provide support for your use of this feature, OR, if you haven’t applied it on or before April 5, the setting will be applied for you beginning with the date of your last closing end and extending until April 21. We suggest this time frame because it’s a midweek day (Tuesday) and allows additional leeway for your patrons to get time to visit your library for material return and replenishment. We probably don’t want to require all items to be returned on first day of opening–no matter how excited we all are to get back to working with the public. If dates change, or closures extend, and libraries need to go longer, that’s easy to do. It’s harder to reverse due dates to an earlier time. Communicate your needs to us and we will continue to support your efforts to serve the public without contact.
In other news:
- This morning, the Committee who had planned a great lineup for the Annual User Group Meeting will have a conference call to discuss alternative plans. Many who had planned your stay at the Penn Stater for the event have already received a cancellation of your hotel reservation. Will the Annual User Group Meeting go virtual this year? Let’s see what happens next.
- Today, PaILS will facilitate and host a Together at 2p.m. Time in the regular online meeting room! Join us if you are working remotely and want to talk about the Emergency Closing Handler, remote work projects, or anything in the Evergreen software.
- Again today, the PaILS Online meeting room is open for you to visit anytime. The virtual meeting room isn’t constantly watched, and staff sometimes abruptly leave for phone calls, but if you need some together time in the room or to talk about a feature of the software, a data project, a workflow, or just to connect, the room is open. Connection details and meeting information are available in emails sent to our membership listservs.
Cheer and best regards to you during this strange time. Share more; have more.