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NCLS Reopening Guide: Modified Services

NCLS Virtual Branch

Patrons can access e-books and e-resources, search for regional online programming, and sign up for a library card - all on the NCLS Virtual Branch.

Outreach Services

Below are some ways that libraries can provide outreach to vulnerable or homebound populations.may seem like a daunting task at this time. 

Partner with local agencies to distribute library materials (books, coloring/activity sheets, library gear, etc.)

  • Schools (lunch distribution)
  • Food pantries
  • Office of the Aging (Meals on Wheels,etc.)
  • Local housing authorities

Books by Mail 

  • Sign your elderly, disabled or homebound patrons up for the NCLS Books by Mail program (check with NCLS for when this service will begin)
  • Establish your own Books by Mail program 

Call patrons

  • Promote the virtual branch
  • Promote 211

 

Checking Out Materials

Libraries will adopt a safer checkout process when they reopen, including curbside services to mitigate the risk of COVID-19. RAILS (Reaching Across Illinois Library System) has an excellent document to help you work out your new checkout process.

Reduced Contact Checkout

Patrons pull up to the library and pick up the item from staff.

  • Patrons may have to notify the library what time they’ll be picking the item up.

  • May be difficult to manage with limited staff.

  • Safety may be a concern meeting people outdoors if it’s dark

  • You may consider having a pickup area for patrons, including a table.

    • Reduces face to face contact.

    • Patrons will need a way of identifying their materials.

Traditional Checkouts

Patrons bring their materials to the circulation desk for checkout.

  • Library cards should be held by patron for library staff to scan, so staff don't have to touch library card.

  • Library material barcodes can be revealed by patron for library staff to scan, so staff don't have to touch materials.

Marketing to Patrons

Patrons will be eager to come to the library and use all of its traditional services, so it will be important to keep them informed of what has changed. Be sure to post new service guidelines to:

  • Social media
  • Signage outside the library
  • Traditional media, such as newspapers or TV

Online Programming

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Find tips, tricks and inspiration for virtual library programming on the NCLS Staff Guide.