Michigan State University
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Though MSU Libraries remain closed to the public due to COVID-19, we are preparing to welcome students this fall, and we are working on changes inside our Library to welcome people safely. Our goal is to reopen to the public August 24. Until then (and after), we will continue to offer virtual services. Many resources remain available. Please see our Online and Distance Learning resource page for specific Library resources. Reference services are still available via chat and phone. We do have temporary policies for returning/renewing material.

Return to Operations FAQ

As the Michigan State University Libraries reopen, the most important consideration will be the health and safety of employees and patrons. The University and the Libraries have taken steps to mitigate risk by altering operations, modifying physical spaces, and increasing cleaning and sanitation measures with the guidance of the university officials as well as federal, state, and local officials, and public health agencies.

While these modifications provide a way for the Libraries to reopen in as safe a manner as possible, risk to employees and patrons cannot be fully mitigated. Employees who can work from home should continue to do so, and patrons should rely on virtual services as much as possible.

This FAQ is a living document. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, protocols and approaches to health and safety are likely to change. This page will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

Return to Work

Who’s cleaning the desk, keyboards, phone at our shared desk and how?

Employees will be responsible for cleaning their own workstations and shared touch points throughout the day. Spray disinfectant will be provided.

What should the cleaning standard be for those with their own workstation?

University guidelines ask employees to clean their workstation twice daily with disinfecting spray.

How are you handling cleaning-product related allergies?

Please let your supervisor and RCPD know if you have any allergies to cleaning products that may impact your health if they are used for office sanitization. We will work on alternatives on a case-by-case basis.

Are there any changes or recommendations around restroom use?

Touch points in high use restrooms will be cleaned hourly in the Main Library. Other restrooms will be cleaned once per day. Restrooms in the Gast Business Library and Conrad Hall are considered high use and are also scheduled to be cleaned throughout the day. The university has purchased new paper towel dispensers to replace all hand blowers and will be installing them soon.

How do we handle elevators?

Elevator capacity will be limited to one or two people. Staff will have keyed access to the basement west wing elevator and prox access to 3 and 4 East.

How do we handle stairwells that are very close? Do we make the north stairwell one way?

Stairwells cannot be made one-way or restricted to staff use only because of fire code considerations.  Staff are advised to use lesser-used stairwells in the east and west wing.

Is hand sanitizer available for individual desks? What about disinfecting wipes?

Disinfecting spray will be available in all areas. Disinfecting wipes, if available, will be used for computers and other areas where spray might cause damage to equipment. Hand sanitizer units have been installed in many parts of the building and will be available in staff common areas.

Are masks required while individuals are alone at their desks?

Masks are required at all times in shared spaces. If you are unable to wear a face mask, please contact your supervisor and RCPD for accommodation options. University guidance on wearing face shields versus cloth face masks is still in discussion.

Can employees wear face shields?

At this time, employees can wear shields in addition to, but not instead of a face mask. 

Are Cyber Café microwaves still available for lunch warming up, or will staff need to use the 4th floor kitchen?

Cyber cafe microwaves will be removed. Microwave ovens and refrigerators in staff areas will remain available, but staff will be expected to use disinfecting cleaner on all common touchpoints before and after use.

Will access to the stacks be restricted for staff?

All Libraries’ staff will have access to the stacks on 4 east and in the basement.  Collections in other parts of the building may need to be accessed by appointment only.  Please remember that we will have students and other staff in the stacks paging materials throughout the day, so try to restrict other uses of the stacks to times of day that are not as busy (early mornings, Fridays).  MSU faculty, staff and students that are not library employees are not permitted into the stacks.

What happens if I accidentally answer the Health Screening form wrong?

Please contact Libraries HR if this happens.

If I am scheduled to come into work and am not feeling well and decide to call in sick, is an MSU Health Screening Form still required?

Yes, if you were scheduled the come in for an in person shift you should still complete the MSU Health Screening Form for that day in order to ensure that your symptoms do not call for additional isolation days beyond the day you have called in sick. Employee Screening information is below and also available in the Libraries Return to Operations Plan.

Employee Screening

  • Do not report to work for three days after you have had a fever of 100.4 degrees F or above.
  • Do not report to work for 14 days if you have had close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. Even if you get tested and your test is negative, you still cannot report to work for 14 days if you have been in contact with a person with COVID-19.
  • Do not report to work if you are experiencing the first three symptoms or two (or more) of the last 5 symptoms listed below. Isolate at home and call your primary care physician’s office or nearest urgent care facility for guidance. You should isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days since symptoms first appear.
  1. NEW OR WORSENING COUGH
  2. SHORTNESS OF BREATH OR DIFFICULTY BREATHING
  3. FEVER (SUBJECTIVE/FELT FEVERISH)
  4. Chills
  5. Muscle aches
  6. Headaches
  7. Sore throat
  8. Loss of taste or smell

All employees MUST complete the University’s health screening form each day on the day of entry to verify health status: MSU Health Screening Form.

I am a supervisor and I have not been receiving MSU Health Screening Form emails for my employees

Verify with your employees that they have completed the MSU Health Screening Form. If they have, contact the Libraries HR Office, who will be able to provide basic troubleshooting of supervisor permissions in EBS. It is possible that you will be referred to the University Physician’s office for more in depth troubleshooting and resolution.

What if the health screening form clears me for work, but someone I have been in contact with is exhibiting symptoms and seeking testing?

We want to practice caution and each individual situation may vary. Supervisors should consult with the University Physician’s office at 517.353.8933 or uphys@msu.edu to discuss the appropriate action to take. When practical, remote work should be pursued if the guidance received is to not to report for in person work. Employees working remotely do not need to submit a health screening form.

 

Return to Open to the Public

Are we limiting or controlling access to the building and do we have a means to get people out so other people can come in?

Our primary way to limit capacity will be to limit seating. The way the Main Library is laid out makes it very difficult to keep an accurate count of people in the building. If we limit our seating to less than 1,000 seats, we will be far below the capacity mandated by the most recent Executive Order (4 people per 1,000 sq. feet of space). We are considering the use of seat count sweeps to see where there may be problems.

If we close off areas of the library, does that mean more people are now crammed in a smaller space?

No, the seating in the library is being reduced to 25% or less of its current capacity.

What hours will the building be open, knowing that more students show up in the evening and like to stay late?

The Main Library will be open 8am-11pm, Monday through Friday. It will be closed Saturday, and open again on Sunday from 10am to 11pm. The Gast Business library will be open from 9am-9pm, Monday through Friday and noon-9pm on Sunday.

Will we have priority times for vulnerable populations?

We will reserve 8-9am, Monday-Friday for vulnerable populations. Signs will be posted on our entry doors encouraging this use.

What will people be allowed to do in the building?

People will be allowed to study, to use computers, and to access library materials. Most collections will need to be paged. We are working on procedures for walkup paging of books and other resources.

What kind of barrier will we have at service desks?

Service points that are open will have plexiglass shields as a barrier.

What do we do if someone comes into the Library without a mask?

We can ask anyone without a mask on to leave the building. It is a university requirement that all people on campus wear masks at all times. We are anticipating further guidance from the university on enforcement, but if a patron becomes belligerent about following a university policy, our normal procedure is  to contact Patron Services or the Main Office so that we can involve MSU Police.

When we open to the public- what if they’re showing symptoms? What if they’re not showing symptoms?

Waiting on guidance from the university for this. We have not been directed that we will be taking temperatures or doing other health checks.

What about if we have to help someone with their computer or a library computer – we would have to be close enough to help them, not 6 ft away?

If a patron is having a difficulty with a library resource, they can be referred to a service point with a plexiglass shield (Reference, etc). If necessary, MSUL employees should stand behind the patron, to the side, and maintain 6ft. spacing. Both parties should be wearing masks.

Who is cleaning public computers/selected resource machines? How often?

Computer keyboards will be cleaned by both IPF and library staff in high use areas. We also hope to be able to provide cleaning wipe stations in high use areas for patron use on keyboards. Keyboards will be cleaned at least twice per day.

Are we expecting to have Face to Face workshops in the fall or is this all going to be held virtually?

Workshops and events should be held virtually as much as possible.

Will day lockers be available for use?

Lockers will not be available this semester.