As so much of life has been ‘closed down’ due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many libraries have begun to reach out to their users directly over the phone. These calls, sometimes referred to as wellness checks, come from our professional tradition of service and a genuine concern for the well-being of the users we have come to know so well and care for so deeply. This desire for checking in on our users can come into conflict with our ethical charge to protect user privacy and confidentiality regarding library use. Before jumping into action, take time to think about the purpose of the calls and how they will be done. The guidelines below were developed to help libraries consider if, and how, staff can make calls to users.
By: Becky Yoose What will your public library do when you reopen your doors? Some libraries are exploring phased reopening, starting with curbside or no-contact service outside the physical building. Others are investigating what reopening the physical building to library
Even during a public health emergency, libraries should continue to adhere to their mission and stand by the law and ethical standards that govern the provision of library services.
As libraries continue adjusting services and moving toward more virtual programming options, we’ve often found more questions than answers. As we experiment, share, and grow together, we’ll continue improving how we interact with and touch our communities, even if our physical spaces are inaccessible. It’s important that as we do so, we don’t overlook a critical piece of library services: patron privacy and security.
By: Guest Contributor Samantha Lee (posted June 4, 2019 with additional updates)Crossposted from the OIF Blog Libraries deal in providing resources to the public; books – yes, but also DVDs, computer/internet access, research help, 3D printers, early childhood literacy programming,