TRANSCRIPT: COVID-19 Directors' Chat - March 26, 2020

Directors' Chat
Thursday, March 26, 2020


Ellen Popit, IHLS: My computer says 1:00 p.m., so Good Afternoon, everyone!

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: Hello!

Rachel Miller - Forsyth: Hi, Everyone.

Kay Burrous  South Macon: Hello!

Shawn-Elwood Library District: Good Afternoon

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Hi everyone! How is everybody holding up? 

Anna - IHLS: I shared an announcement with all of you about a RAILS Zoom webinar. It was very good and they had presenters from HR Resource and Julie Tapendorf and a partner of her’s from Ancel Glinck.  It was very good and you can find a recording here: Celeste Choate attended as well and asked if she could share the information and this is what she was told. “Yes, share far and wide to the library community!  Because the information changes rapidly, we will likely only keep this link active for a week or two, whatever seems to make the most sense.”

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Haven't done this in a while. Is it text only?

Ellen Popit, IHLS: It is, Diana!

Anna - IHLS: @Diana yes

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Thanks

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: I attended that RAILS Roundtable and it is extremely informative - I shared it with my board as well

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: they touched on electronic meetings, paying part time employees, etc.

Anna - IHLS: Who else attended. I thought it was pretty good too.

bennettkat: I would appreciate hearing about what they said about electronic meetings. ( this is Kathleen Bennett from Catlin Public Libary, my username was not well chosen:/)

Janet Cler 2: I attended and thought it was good!

Susan IHLS: I attended and felt that there was good information shared. Have they put up the powerpoints?

mounds public library: Hello everyone

Ellen Popit, IHLS: If you saw Municipal Minute this morning, you can see that Ancel Glink is doing an online session dealing with COVID-19.  Here's the link:

Ellen Popit, IHLS: @mounds.  Hi, Eunice!

Jo - Greenville Public Library: @Anna, I just tried that link and it says it is not found.

Tracy Anderson Mt. Olive PLD: Hello Everyone.  We have closed or doors, as of Monday March 16th.  

Shawn-Elwood Library District: Hi Jo, take the period off the end of the link :D

Julia - IHLS: Try this link for the RAILS webinar:

Jo - Greenville Public Library: @ Shawn-Elwood, thanks

Anna - IHLS: Again you can see the entire 90 minute session on the RAILS YouTube chanel at the lnk Julia cshared

Joan: Question:  My board at their last meeting voted to stay closed at least through April 9, the date of our next meeting.  Do we have to meet to extend that date or if the governor still has us in shutdown, can I just extend our closure myself?

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Does anyone have suggestions for free or affordable virtual meeting software? I purchased Zoom and my access didn't get processed, so I'm looking for an alternative. I normally like zoom, but their help desk is overwhelmed right now with everyone using them.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Joan, I'd suggest you ask your board for permission to allow you to extend the closure yourself or else with permission from your board president.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Diana, I like that approach.

Joan: Thanks, I don't think they really want to meet anyway, and we can already pay bills without reading them at a meeting.

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: I would hope most boards would be supportive in abidding by Executive Orders

Teresa Pennington (ParisPL) 2: Our emergency closing policy gives me the authority to close down so I extended ours and notified the board.

Julia - IHLS: I'm sorry to hear you are having a problem with Zoom.  Here is a beginner's guide to anyone that just created an account:

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Does anyone have staff some staff working virtually while others cannot, yet you're paying all of them? I've sent everyone training links to keep them all engaged, but I need to find some way to formalize the parameters if this continutes (and I'm guessing it will).

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Thanks, Julia. It's not a user issue on my end. It's a glitch on their end. 

Ellen Popit, IHLS: I'll try to find an article I saw earlier about just that, Diana.  Let me see if I can find the link.

Mahomet John H: I am paying all of my staff.  For this week, I am pretty relaxed about how much any of them are doing.  Some of them are just not technically capable of doing much work from home work.  Next week we will be more directive in their expectations.

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: We have Niche Academy and I am able to track my staff's training progress.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Diana, would Google Hangout work for you?

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: John, that's pretty much where I'm at right now as well. I'm curious about how to get more directive about it, given that I can't see having them spend 37.5 hours per week watching training videos from home. Maybe this was discussed in the RAILS meeting?

Celeste - Urbana Free: @Joan, If this is a regularly scheduled Board meeting, and you are canceling or rescheduling it, that has to be noted properly.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Ellen, Google Hangout might work. I'll look into it.

Jennifer Danville Public: Diana--I, my assistant director and business manager are doing work from home. I sent out a big list of prof dev links that I think came through the listserv the day we closed. My tech manager was able to set the three of us up with laptops to access our desktops from home but we don't have the capability for everyone to do that. Also,  some of my staff do not have internet access from home..

Jennifer Danville Public: I attended the RAILS webinar too and wondered what all their staff were able to do from home...?!

Susan IHLS: I know that in the RAILS presentation, there is a difference between expectations for exempt versus hourly.

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: RAILS is hosting a training tomorrow regarding Managing Teams Remotely

Celeste - Urbana Free: I know everyone knows this, but if staff are working from home, they still need to follow employment laws that normally apply re: breaks, overtime, One Day Rest in Seven, etc.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Susan, I saw that in an HRSource presentation today too. But, I'm the only exempt employee.

Tracy Anderson Mt. Olive PLD: I am a new director, who was thrown into the panic of a pandemic of her 1st month alone.  Im still new to all of the many venues of information out there.  I have started using Library 2.0, L2, amd RAILS.  Coulde anyone chime in on other venues worth exploring?

Mahomet John H: I have about 11 staff.  I will be calling all of them today and tomorrow to discuss what kind of projects they might be able to do.

Mahomet John H: @Celeste, I probably should have known that but did not, so thank you for the reminder.

Julia - IHLS: ILA will be having ILA Noon Network webinaras:

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Tracy, what a thing to have thrown at you when you walk in the door! Webjunction has free online trainings for libraries.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: This is the article I saw this morning:  We're all getting an education, aren't we????

Celeste - Urbana Free: Welcome, @Tracy! 

Mahomet John H: SInce SImply Reports is available on the web, I have a couple of staff running a bunch of statistics and trying to figure out what we can learn from those to operate better.

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: Library 2.0

Celeste - Urbana Free: @Tracy Apply to attend Director's University, whenever it is next being held. 

Mahomet John H: @Tracy what Celeste said.  Even if you have to miss the start of summer reading to do so, Director's University is a must.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: I agree with Celeste. Director's University is a must for new directors.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: John, I like you Simply Reports idea. 

Joan: @Celeste - thanks for the reminder!

Diane Foote, Illinois Library Association: Thank you, Celeste, for mentioning Director's University, and thank you, John, for the second. And Diana for the third!! I don't think the string has officially been pulled, but yes, it's 99% certain to move from its originally scheduled June 1-5 date.

Jennifer Danville Public: Email went out this morning that Director's University is postponed until later summer or early fall.

Julia - IHLS: The Muncipal Minute is a great resource to subscribe to:

Celeste - Urbana Free: @Dianna, We are currently paying everyone. Only the management team and a couple of others (hourly clerk who enters invoices into financial system worked week 1 of closing); full-time web designer has created info for our website. We are going to begin offering everyone the option to work from home voluntarily. I'd be glad to share our  Work From Home during COVID-19 document as soon as it's done. 

Diane Foote, Illinois Library Association: Aha! You're ahead of me, Jennifer. Thanks! We'll update the ILA website.

Jennifer Danville Public: :)

Diana_CentraliaRLD: @Julia - IHLS: IThis was in the ILA email today and I have already signed up. They sound good. ILA Noon Network webinars:

bennettkat: I received an email that Director's University is being postponed until the fall, hopefully.

Mahomet John H: @Tracy, also immediately connect with one or two local directors and talk with them regularly.  Need to start building your network.  I'm happy to be one of them if you can't find someone better. :)

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Celeste, that would be great!

Celeste - Urbana Free: for now, we are going to encourage people to work up to 1/2 time, if they are able to. We will pay everyone, no matter what, for now, through April 7th. We will review our position about not requiring work if the Stay at Home order is extended. 

Mahomet John H: Hopefully Director's U could maybe move to the fall permanently after this.  Right at the beginning of summer reading has always been a dicey place for it.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Celeste if you could share that system wide, we'd be delighted to include that with out other resources.

Celeste - Urbana Free: yep :-)

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Thank you!

Celeste - Urbana Free: Also, the Workplace Report is another great resource: 

mounds public library: Does anyone believe the coronavirus will increase a lot more in southern il

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: I joined HR Source recently and they have sample policies. They'll also do policy review and give unlimited legal advice at no extra cost beyond membership.

Anna - IHLS: Regarding DU we are looking at all options form making some of it online and some in person or just moving it all and having an all in person meeting later,

Ellen Popit, IHLS: @Mounds:  Eunice, a good source of information is listening to the Governor's press conference every day around 2:30 or 3:00.  The easiest way for me to access it from West Frankfort is to listen to it on the radio and 91.9 (WSIU)

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: @Mounds, we may have caught it in time to minimize the impact on southern Illinois, but one reason we're only seeing a couple of cases here is that it's almost impossibe to get testing. The hospitals are busy though. They're running low on masks and asking for donations. 

mounds public library: Thanks for that information

Mahomet John H: For those of you who, like us, have closed your book drops until you re-open, what are you thinking about in terms of managing the rush of items returned, and the issues around books possibly carrying the virus?

Tracy Anderson Mt. Olive PLD: Thank you Guys!  Sorry, i am not chatrting, I am too busy taking notes!  gettin a lot of good information here.  It has been becoming clear that one of my employees who has been there for a long time, thinks that she is free to do whatever she wants furing this time.  I understand that everyone is under a lot of stress, and I was very Lax the 1st week, but iI think its time to get back to work.  She even accussed me of being too sturn and ridged.

Teresa Pennington (ParisPL) 3: @Tracy - Big Talk from Small Libraries has their previous annual conference presenations all onine at

Rachel Miller - Forsyth: Good idea, Ellen.  I was just about to send Celeste an email!  Thank you, Celeste for sharing.

Anna - IHLS: I understand from something I heard on the local NPR is that there will be three testing sites one near Chicago, one in Springfield and one in Carbondale. I will try to verify that

IHLS Admin: Here is the link for today's press conferene from the Governor:

Celeste - Urbana Free: @Tracy, IHLS has been capturing the while conversation and making it accessible later, if that's helpful to know.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Yes, Anna, that's correct. Those sites are up and running. There just aren't enough tests, so the guidelines for allowing a test are very strict.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: So, the book drop rush, that's a good question. We've been spraying and wiping books as they come in. Our book drop is now closed. Not sure how we'll manage the rush when we reopen. 

Celeste - Urbana Free: if you ever need me, I'm at and cell 217-766-6299, and I appreciate the support I get from people all of the time. In the HR Source webinar today, they talked about supporting your staff in these uncertain times and providing care and grace to them. They also said to be sure to take care of ourselves as managers and leaders.

Anna - IHLS: @Diana I know Gov. Pritzker is being very agressive about getting more of everything to help us fight this. He supports us looking at this as a war time situation and switching and allocating resources to insure production of needed supplies. Lets hope that can happen.

Celeste - Urbana Free: and as people. we are all trying to learn a lot in a short period of time, so be gentle to yourself!

Joan: @John, just spitballing here, but I'm thinking as items come back, we wear gloves, put items in dated boxes and check them in after 3 days, dating back to March 16 before we closed.  Of course we're kind of small, so that might not work for everyone.  

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Anna, I agree. I'm really glad to be living in Illinois where the state government takes this seriously.

Tracy Anderson Mt. Olive PLD: Thanks you John You can email me at!!

Susan IHLS: The Northeast Document Conservation Center has some quidelines to disinfecting items. Am trying to figure out how to share the link.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Joan, that's not a bad plan. However, it's now suspected that COVID-19 stays on some surfaces for up to 17 days.

Brenda Gilpatrick-Red Bud Public Library: Diana,  what are you sprayíng your books with¿

Anna - IHLS: @Diana since you are so active in the Carbindale community ccan you suggest some other sites to keep track of dealing with all the different aspects of the virus. I know you work with the homeless coalition how do they ahdnle disinfecting?

Mahomet John H: Just a thought, this whole situation has been very difficult for everyone.  I know I have at least one staff member who is dealing with depression brought on by this.  Please be kind and understanding with your staff & check in on them not just to make sure they are working but to inquire about how they are doing,.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: So, this just came to mind. There are heaters you can buy to kill bed bugs. It looks sort of like a miniature tent. COVID-19 has a tempurature at which it dies. I wonder if these would reach that temp without damaging books. They're about $400, but would probably hold a box or two of books.

Joan: @Diana, whoa!!  Last I'd heard was 24 hours, so I thought we were being carefull at 3 days!  Things change hourly, so we really need to keep up and be flexible, right?

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Good point, John.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Absolutely, Joan.

Jill Goodman: Yes John, great point.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Brenda, at first we were spraying w/ 90% isopropal alcohol. Then our maintenance manager (who used to do maintenance at the hospital) made another recommendation. Let me see if I can find that.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: @Diana what an interesting idea! I'll mention that to Susan Palmer when we zoom later today. I know she'd been researching the UV light, but apparently it causes damage.

Cassandra Thompson, IHLS: Nevermind, I see Susan IHLS up top. : ) 

Susan IHLS: IHLS Delivery is concerned as well as how to keep from spreading the virus. I know that our processes will change. The trick is finding the best way to do that. I am open to suggestions. 

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: The spray he recommended is quaternary cleaner(peroxide based) 

Susan IHLS: Tomorrow I have a meeting with Lyngsoe (think automatic material handler among other things) who have been working on a UV light process for items. I will share what I find out. I admit my only contact with UV light is for my air purifier in my home.

Donald Pippin, Philo: Just looked at the article about 17 days.  It says parts of Covid 19 were detectable but no proof that it was viable. 

Anna - IHLS: Susan sent me a PDF from NEDC on how to disinfect books. I am trying to compile things throughout the day and then share them on the directors loist toward the end of the day. I will share it in that messag.e

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Spraying takes a few extra seconds per book, but it's not that bad.

Brenda Gilpatrick-Red Bud Public Library: Thak

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: The 17 days came from studying the 2 highly infected cruise ships.

Diane Foote, Illinois Library Association: The latest CDC report that references the 17-day thing came out of studies done on the cruise ships where people were infected. What was found on the surfaces was RNA strands from the virus, not necessarily viable, living virus. But as you say, info changes seemingly by the minute, so it's best to act out of an abundance of caution. Here is the report (I saw a more user-friendly analysis earlier today and will try to find):

Brenda Gilpatrick-Red Bud Public Library: Diana: Thanks! 

Diane Foote, Illinois Library Association: Ha! Jinx.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Thanks, Anna!

Mahomet John H: @Anna - re disinfecting books.  In addition to putting that on the listserv can you add it to the COVID_19 resources webpage?

Anna - IHLS: We collect all of these transpricts and post them on the IHLS COVID 19 page. But I will ski the conversation and share the links from theis discussion in my post too. 

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: Thank you so much Anna!

Mahomet John H: Not sure if this is feasible, but if IHLS was looking for a project to be working on, a Best Practices Guide for reopening libraries during COVID-19 would be a great boon.

Celeste - Urbana Free: @John - great idea!

Ellen Popit, IHLS: That's a great idea, John!  I'm sure as begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel we can make that happen!

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: John, that's a great idea.

Celeste - Urbana Free: Also, ILA has a best practices committee...

Mahomet John H: Need not be original - there are probably multiple people working on such a thing, and perhaps we can just steal and collate the best of what they are coming up with.

Anna - IHLS: I love that idea John and I will start seeing what I can find. I appreciate any contributions in that direction too. Does anyone have a plan?

Rachel Miller - Forsyth: Love that idea!  And love thinking about when we will eventually get to that point!

Celeste - Urbana Free: I know we are going to have our cleaning company do one last deep clean before we open.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Here's a thought: If we suspend fines for a couple of months we could announce something alphabetical. If your last name begins with A-G, please return your books this week. If your last name begins with H-N, please return your books next week, etc.

Anna - IHLS: We were discussing this at a staff gathering this morning. We are all assuming some social distancing requirements may still be in place as well as stepped up cleaning.

Anna - IHLS: I think there should also be marketing plans for reopening. How to deal with disgruntled public and talking ponts.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Yes, Anna, that seems feasible. 

Anna - IHLS: IDiana I like your plan but getting the word out might be a little challenging. I assume you will have parents with kids dying to get new books who will not want to make wo trips

Celeste - Urbana Free: what about opening exterior drops a day before opening to the public?

Susan IHLS:

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Re:  Celeste's comments, I wonder if staff members won't be coming into work for a few days before libraries open up to the general public.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: At the HR Source webinar today they said that Emergency FMLA and emergency paid sick leave is still being ironed out with more guidelines and we should hopefully know more next week so we can start putting those policies into place (which begin April 1). They also talked about the new Illinois law to reimburse staff for use of personal computers, printers, phones, and Internet.

Anna - IHLS: Wish we could use Google Docs. I like that people can suggest edits on the side and also add content.

Mahomet John H: I was thinking we might start opening book drops several days ahead of library re-opening.  To give the books time to sit and viruses to die.  But that is when I thought 3 days would do it.

Janet Cler: I am thinking we will get staff in first and open book drop prior to opening to the public.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Diana, that all information we're trying to stay on top of and send out information whenever we get good, solid info.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Thanks, Ellen!

Anna - IHLS: I hope you all feel that IHLS and Share staff all have your back during this time. Please let us know how we can help you further.

Susan IHLS: As we get closer to an opening date, much of this information will help delivery to decide when to begin running routes.

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: I think it would also be helpful to create a list of tips and ideas on how to make the best of this situation and adjusting to this new normal. Teachers are preparing on not returning until the fall. So that makes me start to think Virtual Summer Reading Programs; Adjusting and shifting working budgets like print funds moving to advertising/marketing funds, etc.; Possible partnerships to create WiFi locations around town

Anna - IHLS: I am taking tomorrow off as a mental health day but I will be back on Monday to resume helping.

Mahomet John H: Anna, these chats have been great.  In the meantime, keep collecting information, disseminating good ideas and planning how IHLS can be proactive in helping libraries prepare for the next step.

Rachel Miller - Forsyth: Speaking of summer reading ... Are you proceeding with program planning?  Thoughts about how SRP will work?

Ellen Popit, IHLS: @ Janet Cler.  I loved the photo of your staff on the Tolonoa Public Library District's FAcebook page----those of you who haven't seen it should check it out.  We could make a collage of photos like that!

Brenda Gilpatrick-Red Bud Public Library: Good idea Anna.. after a while it wears on you. 

Julia - IHLS: Be sure to periodically check the COVID-19 page on the IHLS website:

Janet Cler: @Anna - they talked this morning on the HR Source session of taking care of yourself.  

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Anna, that's smart. I am hoping to take a day tomorrow as well. This has all been a lot of work, and a lot of uncertainty. Be well, everybody!

Anna - IHLS: I love all of the ideas and all of the angles you are thinking of to attack this. I wonder what we can find from Washington state libraries

Janet Cler: @Ellen :  Thanks!  My staff was so excited about the idea!

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Good point, Anna!

Anna - IHLS: Send me anything good that anyone wants to share. WE will share on list and on CoVid page

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Ashley, I agree.

Diana Brawley Sussman 2: Thanks, everybody!

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Anything else for the good of the order?

Kay Burrous  South Macon: Be well!

Mahomet John H: Thanks everyone

Shawn-Elwood Library District: Thank you everyone for the wonderful information and links

Ashley - Caseyville PLD: Have a wonderful weekend!

Jo - Greenville Public Library: Thank you everyone - especially Anna, Ellen, and IHLS staff!

Anna - IHLS: Thankyou stay well and talk to you all on Monday.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: Let's see what stay at home fun we can come up with over the weekend!

IHLS Admin: If you are creating videos for the first time, I shared some basic tips  for beginners on our Facebook page.

Ellen Popit, IHLS: If there's nothing else to bring to the group, i think we can call it a day and log back into Adobe Connect on Monday!

Tracy MOPLD: Thank you everyone, fo all of the good advise and information!!

IHLS Admin: The transcripts from the 2 previous sessions have been posted on the website:

Tracy MOPLD: Is there a date for the next Directors chat?

IHLS Admin: The next Directors' Chat is Monday: