Koha How-To

Town Hall Reopening After the Pandemic

Join the ByWater team as we discuss what your library needs to do to prepare for reopening after the pandemic.

Chat from Attendees

We had some great suggestions from partners during the Town Hall. You can read through the chat below.

14:01:49 : define "open"?

14:03:06 I consider us to be open right now. Just in a different way.

14:04:48 From Education Team : https://bywatersolutions.com/education/your-library-is-getting-ready-to-reopen-now-what

14:04:52 : hello from C-SPL

14:04:55 : Hello from NJ!

14:04:57 : Hello, Banning Library District

14:05:04 Hello from Blairsburg, IA

14:05:04 Hello from Norwich, VT!

14:05:08 We're not sure when yet, but we've been discussing possibilities like curbside pickup as a way to start (but not right now). We're figuring out how to space our computers to allow use.

14:05:10 Hi from Seattle!

14:05:16 Hello from Bennington Vermont

14:05:19 Hi from Dubuque, IA

14:05:19 Hello from Salt Lake City, UT

14:05:23 Hello from New Jersey

14:05:25 Hi from Connecticut!

14:05:28 Hi from Traverse City, MI

14:05:34 Hi Dubuque. Hey, Andrew!

14:05:36 Hello from Arlington, VA!

14:05:39 Hi from Newport NH

14:05:43 Hello from California

14:05:45 Hello from Monticello, FL

14:05:53 Hello from Wasatch County, Utah

14:05:56 Hi from Dubuque, IA

14:06:07 Curbside probably re-starts Monday. Some time after that we will do a limited access open. No public programs all summer.

14:06:13 Howdy from Texas

14:06:20 Hi from Ottumwa, IA

14:06:26 Hello from Reno, Washoe County

14:06:33 (Texas Gov order - curb side for all retail starts Friday)

14:06:33 From Education Team : (Yay Iowa!)

14:06:44 Hello From Reno as well!

14:09:14 Hello from Duarte, California!

14:10:53 we’ve offered home delivery service through the mail an that has been really popular

14:11:42 SILVER LINING - We've been "forced" to offer services or do things we probably should have been doing all along

14:12:02 Now the trick is to sustain them

14:12:12 Good time to dump fines.

14:13:51 A little self promotion: if you are interested in dropping fines, I run the endlibraryfines.info website. It has articles and resources to help you plus a map so you can see what your neighbors are doing.

14:14:22 fines - or at least auto-renew!

14:14:22 We have to keep in mind, though, that some libraries may be restricted by local health officers or politicians (administrators) to do ANYTHING. So the librarians may want to do stuff, but local orders prevent them from doing anything

14:14:56 (I said on facebook) auto-renew is the MOST popular thing I have ever done in 30 years of library service.

14:15:05 we are concerned about computer usage in May! But I think auto renewal is great

14:15:08 You are correct - my community I believe is driven by local rules.

14:15:20 Fascinating- we tried auto-renew and our patrons complained.

14:15:24 This is my first Bywater Town Hall - could you introduce yourselves when you have a moment? Thanks!

14:15:27 Is there a limit to auto-renewal? We don't want folks to keep items forever.

14:15:41 LOL

14:15:54 But can patrons opt-opt of auto-renew?

14:15:55 new option for patrons to OPT OUT. (but they are weird!)

14:16:06 EXCELLENT. OK.

14:16:11 We've turned so may things off (notices, etc) that I want to keep our systems invisible when we reopen.

14:16:35 Bulk edit for renewals has been awesome. Saved me a lot of time since students left for spring break and didn't have a chance to return books before leaving.

14:16:52 We still are not allowed in building except for essential personnel, myself and director - so we cannot offer home/mail delivery, sadly. Looking forward to getting some staff back

14:18:02 Auto Renewals : Blog Post

14:18:27 Who is the 5th team member?

14:18:45 That’s Sycorax the cat :)

14:18:51 How much lead time does message queue need

14:19:53 hardest: people accusing me of not caring about staff or public health.

14:20:17 I hear you! It's a no-win situation!

14:20:17 Getting Ready to ReOpen

14:20:22 I made a working document with screen captures to notate each change made in the admin. Because I knew I'd forget something!

14:20:31 Yes, thank you for all of the help over the last few weeks. I have definitely opened tickets while also doing a zillion other things at once!

14:20:45 Will you send out these links or put them in a blog post?

14:21:04 This blog post links out to all the re-opening Blog Post

14:21:51 Where can I get info on bulk item renew. I've got a ton due today, as this was supposed to be our original reopen date

14:23:12 We are creating a reopening document with the correct order for things to happen. We don't want staff checking in and trapping holds before we are ready.

14:23:14 We have a great response from our patrons with the Account Expiration notices. They quickly reply with partial account info. We easily renew them remotely, and it prevents a lot of extra work when we reopen.

14:23:2 Bulk Due Dates Blog Post

14:24:16 I just found the item edit on YouTube :)

14:24:36 Do you think it's a good idea to change to using the long overdue notices process before we reopen? Sending Notices for long overdue - Blog Post

14:24:41 I DO

14:24:51 We will need to do a large processing of returned materials before we reopen to the public. Is there a way to suspend holds so none are trapped during this time?

14:25:45 Great! ticket probably on its way to you soon.

14:25:51 We are looking to use the idea of checking in items to a Quarantine status when we first reopen, so that holds etc. are not triggered, so that we can set all check in aside for about 72 hours before checking in again to trap everything.

14:26:37 That's what I've been doing.

14:26:43 I've seen some quirky stuff

14:27:07 That could be better than changing 20 libraries circa rules

14:27:13 What happened to that Koha bug you were working on to fix that?

14:27:34 we are working on that

14:27:51 that patch needs a bit of attention, but there may be a path forward with that patch

14:27:58 we're looking at the same thing

14:28:13 I like the idea of suspending holds. Things to think about! Thanks :)

14:28:49 send a ticket to us and we can bulk suspend those to a specific date!

14:29:13 Cart to Shelf Blog Post

14:29:20 We set them aside for 72 hours, then use bookdrop mode. Never heard of cart to shelf

14:32:47 we are going to "gamify" returns to try and spread out

14:33:32 How so?

14:34:12umm... we made social media posts that say like... "If your name starts with a,b,c return this week." (stuff like that)

14:34:23Nice! I really like that

14:34:32 like those "what is your Halloween Name"

14:34:40Do you have any one-pagers for patrons on using Lists and Holds features through the ILS?

14:34:56 Yes!

14:35:41 Koha Videos for Patrons: Videos Link

14:36:05 Lists: Lists

14:36:37 Placing Holds: Video

14:37:00 We do not charge fines for days closed. What about setting calendar days to closed for the period library is closed to avoid fine charges?

14:37:24 Where is the info on one-sheets?

14:39:36 Koha Videos for Patrons: Link
 Lists: Link

14:39:53 Placing Holds: Link

14:40:29 That's HUGE

14:42:50 Anything to think about for a consortium? Different libraries opening at different times.

14:43:08 Our patrons have also really used the purchase suggestions. Something awesome to look forward to

14:43:11 ME! book carts out front. I went "full chipotle" with it. we check them out before we put them out.

14:44:02 We're getting a lot more youth ebooks, that's for sure!

14:44:03 Summer reading prize of the year = "jar of librarian tears"

14:44:20 THEY ARE MAGIC!!!!!

14:45:05 Our patrons have also really used the purchase suggestions. Something awesome to look forward to

14:46:29 take away ever other chair...

14:46:33 one to one appointment

14:46:33 We've reserved every other PC

14:46:51 "out of order" signs on every other PC

14:47:01 removing every other computer

14:47:04 Chromebooks for mobility

14:47:11 Moving tables apart, removing the self-reservation machine, so staff have to make appointments.

14:47:12 Will be limiting total patrons in building, and every other chair empty

14:47:15 Remove 1/2 of computers. Rent inhouse Chromebboks.

14:47:17 Spacing out our laptops around the building

14:47:25 removing every other Keyboard/mouse

14:47:39 Spacing for computers (remove chairs), red X on floor at check out, cleaning surfaces periodically

14:47:42 Problem with chromebooks is when patrons need Silverlight and other things not available on them

14:47:56 nope

14:48:17 Removing tables to limit gathering spots will let us move computers far apart.

14:48:27 My spatial sense is TERRIBLE

14:48:28 Tape human outlines on the floor?

14:48:28 sneeze guards at Info Desk

14:48:37 we have a self-checkout and think we will get another

14:48:40 We had to suspend our laptop checkouts (when we were open) because of lack of cleaning/sanitizing supplies.

14:48:41 Considering self-checkout at Circ

14:48:51 also we are thinking limit patron at a time

14:48:52 Hoop skirts are going to make a comeback!

14:48:55 Self checkout and sneeze guards

14:48:56 We will have 2 full desk tops...set up apart from each other in addition to Chromebooks

14:49:45 We're looking into it - haven't settled on specific kind yet

14:49:45 We are getting sneeze guards as well

14:49:49 Plexiglass everywhere for us as well. I've suggested clear shower curtains as well

14:49:51 I have a photo from target I can share - at the pharmacy they use a desk in front of their desk and tape on the ground for spacing.

14:49:56 Good to know, thank you

14:50:27 Chrome books have to be cleaned when returned.

14:50:32 We have a concern about people browsing, picking things up and putting them back… do we quarantine the items as people put them back?

14:50:37 we are thinking of having self check out app

14:50:58 We closed our stacks and emphasized our paging services

14:50:58 Also, looking at partitions to divide up larger tables

14:51:22 Is anyone using their 3D printers to print the headbands for facemasks (PPE) for first responders? See

14:51:38 yes


14:51:47 we've talked about not letting people browse at first.

14:52:02 We've always had inhouse bins, but not everyone uses them

14:52:03 here is CDC guy:

IMLS: Mitigating COVID-19 When Managing Paper-Based, Circulating, and Other Types of Collections


14:52:05 no chargesm right?

14:52:34 We closed our stacks

14:52:34 This is going in to our decision about when to open the building for sure

14:52:42 CDC dude says - the items are not your problem.

14:53:12 My two cents is yes re: quarantining materials on re-shelving carts

14:53:13 I bought several extra cans of cat food last week because I touched some to check something and then panicked about putting them back.

14:53:22 here is target pharmacy photo: Photo

14:53:27 Are you able to send this chat out via email?

14:54:59 Thanks

14:55:31 we are trying some of these: Photo

14:55:33 I'd like to hear more from places that open first,too.

14:55:36 Yes

14:55:38 That would be great...this has been very helpful!

14:55:41 Yes, especially as we approach the end of the fiscal year in academia

14:55:51 As some libs open, they may come up with other issues that need to be addressed

14:55:57 for curbside first! and then for limited access.

14:56:20 thank you!

14:56:21 Remember partners@bywatersolutions.com as a resource to check out other libraries are doing

14:56:21 Thank you!

14:56:29 Libraries who are opening in May: will your staff be wearing gloves and masks?

14:57:11 We need some print things to send by email, not everyone has video capability at home

14:57:31 current theory/plan - masks required for staff AND patrons.

14:57:33 Thank you so much!

14:57:37 Thank you!

14:57:38 Thanks!

14:57:41 Thank you everybody!!!

14:57:42 Thank you all!

14:57:42 Thank you all.

14:57:42 Thank you!

14:57:46 Thanks!


When: Apr 21, 2020 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Town Hall Reopening After the Pandemic

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After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We will be recording this town hall and make it available on-demand after the LIVE presentation.

Read more by Jessie Zairo

Tags covid, covid-19