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A pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease.

 (World Health Organization 

I: Purpose 

  1. To establish the protocol to be used in the event of a pandemic. If there is a pandemic, the library may be required to operate on limited staffing or take unique measures to help slow the spread of the illness, including service restrictions, limited hours of operation, or possible closure by order of local public health officials.

II: Definition 

  1. Pandemic PlanA pandemic plan differs from a general emergency preparedness policy or procedure. With an emergency preparedness policy, there is an assumption that staff will return to the building or begin rebuilding, almost immediately after the event or crisis. Recovery from a pandemic may be slow and limited staff, services, and hours may be necessary for an extended period of time. 

III: Library Closure 

  1. Public Health Mandate 

The Ashville Free Library will close due to pandemic in the event of a mandate order or recommendation for closure issued by public health or government officials on the local, county, state, or federal level. 

  1. Discretionary Service Level Changes 

At the discretion of the Library Director or designee, and in consultation with the Library Board of Trustees, the Library may close, reduce its operating hours, or limit services temporarily if

  1.  there is not sufficient staff to maintain appropriate staffing levels 
  2. Staff is unable to maintain adequate social distancing for health and safety 
  3. In the event of closure or reduction in operating hours, the Library Director or designee will maintain communication with staff, Library Board of Trustees, and the community.