Guidelines for Safe IHLS Delivery Service During the COVID-19 Pandemic

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Originally published 5/27/20, Updated 2/18/2021 12:23 PM CT

ON THIS PAGE:   Recent Announcements  |  Materials & Tub Handling Procedures & Quarantine  |  IHLS In-House COVID-19 Prevention & Mitigation Procedures  |  Frequently Asked Questions  |  Documents Archive

 

2/18/2021 Delivery Update:
IHLS Delivery Quarantine Time to Reduce to 48 Hours Starting Feb. 22

Illinois Heartland Library System and the IHLS Delivery Working Group are pleased to announce that we are reducing the IHLS quarantine time for interlibrary delivery from 72 hours (3 days) to 48 hours (2 days) beginning Monday, Feb. 22. We will continue to quarantine these items within our hubs. Please remember that IHLS's 48-hour quarantine applies only to materials transferred by IHLS and is in place to protect IHLS staff. It is up to your library as to whether and when to use a quarantine period as part of your library's mitigation strategies. 

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Materials & Tub Handling Procedures: 48-Hour Quarantine at IHLS Hubs

  1. Library packs tub with outgoing items
  2. Library dates tub with the date of the last time any item in the bin was touched by anyone (with or without gloves)
  3. Library sends the tub to IHLS Delivery.
  4. IHLS Delivery quarantines the tubs for 48 hours.
  5. IHLS Delivery dates the tub by placing a label with the date of the last time any item in the bin was touched by anyone at IHLS (with or without gloves) on the new tub’s lid
  6. IHLS Delivery transports and delivers the tub to a pre-arranged contactless exchange point at the receiving library
  7. Receiving library unpacks and distributes items to patrons using that library’s pre-determined materials handling and quarantine procedure

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IHLS In-House Prevention & Mitigation Procedures

 

Delivery is a part of our partnership with each library and its community, and each of us wants to ensure that the processes are safe for everyone--from the IHLS staff driving the vans to your patrons picking up the materials. A working group comprised of IHLS delivery staff members and staff from nine member libraries have helped us create procedures and a plan to resume the responsible delivery of library materials. They also help us revise those plans as situations change and new information becomes available. Each library needs to create its own plan for providing in-library services, but it is up to all of us to make sure that the exchange of library materials is safe for everyone.

To keep our stakeholders safe, IHLS is using these COVID prevention and mitigation procedures: 

  • Requiring masks for sorters and drivers when around library materials or other people;
  • Providing PPE for staff; 
  • Practicing good hygiene habits. including proper handwashing and hand sanitizer use;
  • Having hand-washing breaks every 30 minutes;
  • Spraying or wiping the outside of the tubs with disinfectant, giving special attention to the high touch areas including handles and lids;
  • Temperature check before starting work;
  • Requiring staff to stay home and work remotely if they show any symptoms of COVID-19 and providing part-time staff with the paid sick time to encourage them to comply;
  • Following guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and recent scientific information;
  • Actively seeking insight from a working group of IHLS Delivery staff and staff from nine member libraries; 
  • Regularly reviewing our procedures, materials/tub handling guidelines, and routes for needed adjustments and improvements; and
  • Working with library staff to implement contactless drop-offs.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Susan Palmer, Director of Operations, at spalmer@illinoisheartland.org

Thank you for your patience and cooperation.

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FAQ – Resuming Delivery During COVID-19

 

  1. When does the IHLS Quarantine Apply? Incoming Items: Use the materials handling and quarantine procedures developed by your library. Outgoing Items: Use the IHLS Delivery materials handling and quarantine procedures. Illinois Heartland Library Sytem: View Delivery Interlibrary loan guidelines, member updates, local metrics, resources for librarians, and more at www.illinoisheartland.org/covid19/How long do we need to quarantine our ILL tubs/materials before setting it out for the IHLS driver?
    • Libraries no longer need to quarantine outgoing interlibrary loan items traveling to IHLS, as IHLS will quarantine all tubs in-house. 
      PLEASE NOTE: If your library has the space to continue quarantining your outgoing items, please contact your IHLS Delivery hub manager.
       
  2. When does the IHLS quarantine period apply?
    • Incoming to the library >> use the library's policy 
    • Outgoing from the library to IHLS >> use IHLS's policy
       
  3. What if my library is ready to resume ILL (Interlibrary Loan) before my neighboring libraries?
    • That's perfectly fine. Please let us know if you are not ready to resume ILL or want to stop ILL. 
       
  4. What if we want to stop ILL delivery? 
    • That's perfectly fine, as well. Please let us know if you are not ready to resume ILL or want to stop ILL. 
       
  5. Is IHLS quarantining the tubs of items for my library?
    • ​​Yes. We were unable to do so in the past, but we have rearranged our hubs to attempt to accommodate storing and quarantining libraries' tubs.
       
  6. I am not able to physically lift the tubs that drivers bring. I have always had them place the tubs behind my circulation desk. Am I able to just leave the exchange point where it is?
    • IHLS can no longer leave deliveries behind circulation desks, or other difficult exchange locations. However, we will work with you to help determine where a new spot could be created. It is in everyone's best interest to keep the exchange as contactless as possible, and IHLS is currently investigating potential solutions for contactless delivery. 
       
  7. My library does not have a secure place for the exchange point. So now what?
    • We will work with you to help determine where a new spot could be created. It is in everyone's best interest to keep the exchange as contactless as possible, and IHLS is currently investigating potential solutions for contactless delivery. IHLS can no longer leave deliveries behind circulation desks, or other difficult exchange locations.
       
  8. I do not have enough tubs for the items that I am sending out of my library. What should I do? 
    • When the first delivery exchange happens, the driver will take empty tubs to distribute to the libraries. Because space is limited in the vans, they may not have enough empty tubs to leave at your library. If that is the case, pack the remaining items in a sturdy container or box (put your library's name on it if you would like it returned), and we will pick them up during the next exchange.
       

Have a question that's not included here? Contact Susan Palmer, Operations Director


Document Archive

 

Retired IHLS COVID-19 Guidelines & Procedures

IHLS Plan for Resuming Delivery Service (May 27, 2020) - includes original service plan, calendar, guidelines, and FAQ

IHLS COVID-19 Materials & Tub Handling Procedures Poster - includes the guidelines for when the 7-day quarantine was held only in libraries; older versions included 5-day, 4-day, and 3-day quarantine times.

IHLS Delivery Tub Handling Procedures flowchart: 1. Library packs tub with outgoing items. 2. Library dates tub with the date of the last time any item in the bin was touched by anyone (with or without gloves). 3. Library quarantines items in tub for 5 days (120 hours) by closing and storing the tub. 4. Library sends the tub to IHLS Delivery. Please note: drivers will not take tubs that have not been quarantined for at least 5 days (120 hours). 5. IHLS Delivery sorts the incoming items into tubs for receiving libraries. 6. IHLS Delivery dates the tub by placing a label with the date of the last time any item in the bin was touched by anyone at IHLS (with or without gloves) on the new tub’s lid. 7. IHLS Delivery transports and delivers the tub to a pre-arranged contactless exchange point at the library. 8. Receiving library unpacks and distributes items according to the receiving library’s materials handling and quarantine procedure (research data from IMLS/OCLC/Battelle’s REALM Project study suggest a 120-hour quarantine starting when the items were last handled).

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