Dear MLS Members,
It’s been a very busy few days, and I’ve sent out a lot of emails about MLS services. I wanted to take a moment and put them all into one message, adding a new one today:
- From Wed, 3/11/2020– MLS suspends in person CE and in person Consulting Services. We anticipate this suspension to last from March 13 until April 15, 2020. We will continue to monitor developments and will let you know if there is any change to the end date. MLS class leaders will be working to provide online content so you may still benefit from the professional development MLS offers. We will also be proactively reaching out to members to offer virtual consulting services.
- From Sunday, 3/15/2020– Statewide Delivery is suspended March 17 until at least March 22, 2020. MLS staff will remain in close contact with staff at Optima to discuss future plans.
- Today, Monday, 3/16/2020– Beginning tomorrow, Tues, March 17, 2020, MLS offices will be closed, and all staff will be working from home. Offices will remain closed until at least March 29, 2020. Staff are working and are available to you for consultations. Email is the best way to reach us during this time, but staff will also be checking their phones and voicemails. Staff Contact Page
We know you have many questions and we are working to get answers on behalf of our members. Our Consultant Team, in cooperation with MBLC, has created a Resource Guide (https://guides.masslibsystem.org/COVID19) filled with information, printables, info for patrons, sample polices and more. It will be updated with new info as it becomes available.
I know many of you are looking for answers in regards to the safety of library materials. MBLC and I have been in touch with several local and state agencies, as well as experts in the medical field, to ask questions on behalf of our libraries. The Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management at the MA Department of Public Health has responded with the following:
“ I have not seen anything specific to handling of books, but wanted to share CDC’s guidance on disinfecting & cleaning (this link is specific to Community and Faith-based Organizations – which I think is the most applicable CDC guidance for your stakeholders) https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
The DPH website also has guidance and information for various sectors (public and private) which you might find helpful as well. https://mass.gov/covid19
Both the CDC and DPH are constantly updating our guidance, and thus websites, so we encourage you to review them frequently.”
We will continue to share information as we receive it.
Finally, I want to take a moment to thank our staff, Executive Board, members, colleagues at the networks and MBLC, and all of our partner organizations, for the incredible work you are doing in a time of constant change. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.