IHLS and SHARE Libraries:
In response to the current status of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with regards given both to Gov. Pritzer's mandates to schools and restaurants and to the Illinois Library Association's recommendation that public and remaining academic libraries close their doors, IHLS has several announcements:
Delivery Suspended through March 30
IHLS will be suspending delivery service starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, and lasting through Monday, March 30. This mirrors the mandate that Governor Pritzker has set for other services. RAILS Delivery service is also suspended.
IHLS Delivery ran the delivery routes today from all three hubs as completely as we could. No additional deliveries will be made until Tuesday, March 31. We will be continually monitoring the COVID-19 landscape and will adjust the ending date if it becomes prudent to do so.
If you would like to retrieve your items from your IHLS Delivery hub, please call or email the hub manager to schedule an appointment. The buildings will be open to library personnel by appointment only. Please bring any empty tubs that you might have at your library.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate the crisis. As always, feel free to reach out to Susan Palmer, Director of Operations with concerns, solutions, and thoughts. You may reach her at 618-656-3216 x409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SHARE Changes and Recommendations
Starting Immediately: Local Holds Only
As of this afternoon, the SHARE consortium has moved to local holds only, which will be holds placed from your location or branches. We have already turned off the capability for libraries to queue holds from other locations.
Please assure your patrons that they will remain in queue, but their hold requests may not be filled until libraries resume normal service. We will be placing a banner in the SHARE public access catalog so patrons are aware that their holds from other libraries will be delayed.
Executive Council Recommendation: Suspend Fines
The SHARE Executive Council has made a formal recommendation for all SHARE libraries to suspend fines for an indefinite time while we weather this crisis.
To suspend fines, add free days during your check-in to avoid generating late fees. Free days are omitted from the overdue fine calculation during normal, bulk, or offline check-in and are typically set to cover unexpected closings. To set free days in the check-in screen, select "March 16, 2020" as the date to start free days. The total number of days will auto-populate.
SHARE Due Dates and Fines for Schools
Since schools have been closed statewide, SHARE staff is working to add school closing dates from March 16 through March 31 so students will not generate fines. Due dates on the online account will not change, but you can assure your patrons that they will not accrue fines.
Public Library Closures
If your public library will close in response to COVID-19, please remember to notify SHARE by completing the Closing Dates Form. This will update your settings in Polaris.
If you would like to check your closing dates, you can go to Utilities >> Reports and Notices >> Tools >> Dates Closed.
Requests for library-specific, temporary changes to item due dates, renewal numbers, or fines cannot be accommodated.
Some libraries have requested to temporarily change their item due dates, number of renewals, or fines. Unfortunately, we will not be able to make those changes on an individual library basis for two reasons. First, this change cannot be made in a timely manner due to sheer volume. SHARE staff would have to manually input these changes, which can number into the thousands. Second, the risk of error due to both the overall volume and the timing when these changes are needed are too high. A great deal of libraries pre-approved additional renewals or a 30-day due-date extension. We are maintaining a list of libraries that have approved extensions and renewals on the SHARE website.
Taking Care of IHLS and SHARE Staff
Effective tomorrow, all IHLS/SHARE staff who can work from home are strongly encouraged to do so. Only essential staff should be in our three hubs, and when they do they will continue to practice good cold hygiene and social distancing. Research has demonstrated the earlier countries stricken with the virus introduce more strident social distancing methods, the sooner the “curve” is flattened. We intend to cooperate and hopefully lessen the impact in our communities.
To reach office staff who are working remotely, please email them or leave your email address in your voice message.
While delivery is paused, our couriers and sorters will not be able to work. All will be paid as normal based on their routine schedule.
We know that these are unprecedented changes to all of our daily lives. If we can help in any way, please reach out to IHLS or SHARE staff by email. IHLS and SHARE would like to thank our member libraries for working together to make sure our patrons are treated fairly during this challenging time.
Please closely watch your email and the IHLS and SHARE websites for additional COVID-19 updates.