When the Governor releases libraries to reopen our doors, we want to be ready. We want to make sure that reopening plans are in place and that we have thought of every contingency for keeping patrons and staff safe from a resurgence of the coronavirus. We recognize that our services and workflow will need to change; that our cleaning will need to be performed more often and with deeper, longer lasting techniques; that our staff will need access to PPE and to explore new ways to serve patrons in a way that is safe for both; and that we need to prepare for differing patron behaviors in light of the coronavirus, including updating all of our existing room and use policies. From all that we’ve heard, Michigan libraries will be ready when the time comes to reopen our doors.

In light of that, MLA has reviewed the Johns Hopkins University report: “Public Health Principles for a Phased Reopening During COVID-19 Guidance for Governors” and we believe that their assessment of low contact, low risk for our nation’s libraries needs to be immediately reassessed. It Is this type of misrepresentation in analyzing true and real circumstances in our public, academic, and school libraries that will cause great harm and will continue the spread of COVID-19 to our patrons and library staff members if not updated immediately.