COVID-19 Updates and Resources for IFLS Libraries

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Federal/State Guidance

Guidance for Re-opening

  • Library Service Levels allowable per Emergency Order 28: pdf document
  • This guide includes CDC and OSHA documents that should be reviewed prior to reopening: Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
  • Must a library close if there is a county or local health department order in place establishing restrictions similar to Safer at Home? Yes, pursuant to Wis. Stat. § 251.08, the jurisdiction of the local health department extends to the entire area represented by the governing body of the county, city, village or town that established the local health department, except that the jurisdiction of a single or multiple county health department or of a city-county health department does not extend to cities, villages and towns that have local health departments.
  • In the absence of a county or local health department order, does the governing body have authority to close the library or does that authority fall to the library board? In the absence of such an order, the statutes appear to give the library board the authority to determine whether the library should open or close. Wisconsin Stat. § 43.58(1) provides that the library board has “exclusive charge, control and custody of all lands, buildings, money or other property devised, bequeathed, given or granted to, or otherwise acquired or leased by, the municipality for library purposes.”

Open Meeting Law and Virtual Meetings


Curbside Pickup Procedures put together by Lori Roholt.

Curbside webinar recording from DPI

IFLS Library survey results: quarantine, curbside, programming  (This spreadsheet is view only. Please send changes/updates to or submit a HelpDesk ticket.)

OCLC/IMLS materials lab testing updates


5/15 Q&A about bathrooms (from John)
I am sending some responses from Shannon Schultz and myself to questions posed during the MORE Directors Council meeting today.

Want to reinforce that you should follow the guidance/orders of local/county health officials when considering how and when to reopen the library. Additional statewide guidance from the Library Division and the System Directors will be coming late next week.

Can we legally close our bathrooms? Yes, they are not a requirement, particularly justifiable if you don’t allow browsing/lingering. Limiting the number of open bathrooms or stalls could also be an option.

What are the talking points for staying closed? The statewide guidance will provide those but here are some to start– based on space, staff capacity, inability to abide by safety protocols, just plain scared to, it’s the board’s decision.

How often should be clean our restrooms? Defer to the CDC guidelines as well as use of your building. You may want to consider asking for additional restroom cleanings by your cleaning service. If staff have been doing the cleaning you may want to ask the library board consider hiring a professional cleaning service.

How many people can we have in our building? This is still being worked on it… Watch for it.

Can we use our lobbies for curbside now that the order has been lifted? I said that if the building was closed by the library board they should formally act even to use the lobby for curbside. Cleaning recommendations would need to be followed. Shannon said–Yes, I would say that they can use the lobby. I would argue that using the lobby is different from opening to the public. If they are offering curbside and that is okay with the board, I would see using the lobby as a procedural thing. John differs with Shannon on the response to this question but I would advise using the answer you feel best fits your community and your library board based on prior discussions/opinions.

As always the answer to COVID questions may change due to new information or other guidance.



Any changes to regular IFLS Delivery will be noted on the following page. Changes will be made to standard IFLS website pages only if temporary changes become permanent. Please submit a HelpDesk ticket or contact Maureen with any questions or concerns.

As of 5/19, no new WISCAT interlibrary loan requests for now since most libraries are still only filling holds locally. If you need photocopies or digital materials, email your request to .

COVID-19 Changes to Delivery

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

ILL is suspended until further notice.

Please do not create any new ILL requests in WISCAT before the statewide delivery service reopens. If you have a request for a photocopy or subject request, email your request to ill@ifls.lib.wi.usand we can try to fill with digital resources.

For WISCAT ILL requests created before library closing, you can go through your status categories in the WISCAT Request Manager to determine if/how to handle the requests in each status.

Here are a few suggestions for the different categories:

Pending: Requests may still be working their way through the lender string but may have skipped or expired from most libraries.  Will your patron still want?  If not, request cancel. If yes, is there an electronic resource which could fill the request or info need? If not, look to see if the need by date should be extended.
Will Supply: These requests are usually at IFLS ILL office for referral to other locations. Will your patron still want? If not, request cancel. If yes, look to see if the need by date should be extended?  [Note: If you talk to patron and get okay to wait for reopen for either Pending or Will Supply requests, you may want to add a note to your request.]
Unfilled & Retry: For these two categories, determine from the history & note from GHIA (IFLS) if this request can’t be filled or if it can be re-requested once the libraries reopen. Let your patron know that information and determine if patron will still want. Is there something online that will fill the information need? Do you want the patrons to re-request once you reopen or do you want to keep track and start a new request?
[Note: Please do not resend/restart a request from the Retry category since that request will only go back to libraries that were skipped and not to all libraries that can lend.]
For many statuses such as Not Received, nothing can be done until the libraries reopen. A lot of  materials are still be in transit and we will have to track once the couriers across the state start moving.
  • Overdue status – Most libraries have extended their due dates. You may request a renewal if you would like a new date in the request, but not all libraries are responding.
  • Renew/Overdue status – You have asked for renewal, lending library has not responded, and the original due date is past. My guess is that those libraries don’t have staff handling WISCAT while they are closed.  I don’t think any WI/MN lending libraries are expecting their materials back before the statewide courier starts running.  I would assume renewed unless a library says no but even if they say no, you likely don’t have to send back to any courier delivery libraries. If a lending library doesn’t respond to a renewal request, you can assume renewed.
  • For most requests you can ignore the Overdue & Renew/Overdue status.
    Exception: If you have any items that came in the mail from a different state, request the renewal & we will ask for renewal on OCLC to see what the response is.  Other states may be on a different timeline for reopening their libraries and may want their item back via post office but you don’t need to assume that.

    If you have any questions about how to handle any interlibrary loan requests, please email us & ask.


Other Info From IFLS


  • List of free software and services, shared by Kris Schwartz.
  • Zoom will lock you out for 24 hours if you use an incorrect password three times.
    • Make sure your caps lock is off
    • Write down or save your password
    • Request a new password before three tries and reset your password
  • Don’t have audio on your computer? An inexpensive usb mic or headset will allow you to fully participate in online meetings.

Online Programming Resources:


Here’s the COVID-19 Blog

We’ll put time sensitive or interesting information here. Look for resources, webinars, professional development opportunities. Use the search box below to search the blog archives.

Daily Digest for Tuesday, May 26

From Lori: Adult Services Check-in Highlights It was so good to hear from all of you this morning! Here are the highlights: There was a question about scheduling tools (like Libro Curbside that Su mentioned in an email this morning). It might be something to bring up...

Daily Digest for Friday, May 22

Have a great weekend. See you on Tuesday. From Leah and Reb: Where to Find IFLS webinar archives on the IFLS website You can link to them from the Continuing Education page, or search the Article Index on “IFLS Webinar”, it’ll come up on top. Recordings, slides and...

Daily Digest for Thursday, May 21

From OCLC/IMLS: Round 1 material testing underway Five items commonly found in public libraries have been selected for initial lab testing to determine the length of time the COVID-19 virus may live on the surface of these materials. Testing began May 13, 2020, using...

Daily Digest for Wednesday, May 20

There won’t be a Daily Digest on Monday, May 25. Enjoy your holiday. From Leah: Adult Services Check-In Round-up Discussion of re-opening and how that might look in stages, referred to Demco webinar with Dr. Dipesh Navsaria One quibble Lori Roholt had with that...

Daily Digest for Tuesday, May 19

From Maureen: Signed, Sealed, Delivered No Duct tape on the bins.  Masking tape or packaging tape is okay for dating the closed bins, but please do not use duct tape. The courier says that it is difficult to remove & leaves a residue. No new WISCAT interlibrary...

Thank you all for your dedication to your libraries and communities.  We have all entered uncharted territory and are having to make some difficult choices.  I wanted to let all of you know how much I appreciate you and the jobs all of you are doing.   John  

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