Last updated: July 14, 2021
RAILS will use this Pulse Page to keep our members informed about the latest developments with COVID-19.
The Latest News
RAILS & RAILS Libraries
RAILS Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccination Program Policy (6/21/21)
FAQ Masks and Vaccines in the Bridge Phase
This FAQ about current masking best practice was compiled with help from Ancel Glink about library responses during the Bridge Phase (updated 6/2/21)
RAILS Ends Delivery Quarantine Requirement
The decision to reduce quarantine time for RAILS delivery is based on the information below.
- Delivery Quarantine Ends (updated 4/7/21)
- RAILS Delivery Safety Precautions (2/12/21)
- Updated Advice on Handling Library Materials during COVID-19 Pandemic – State Library of Oregon (October 5, 2020)
- Updated Quarantining Information – Vermont Department of Libraries (November 3, 2020)
- Covid-19 Rarely Spreads Through Surfaces? So Why Are We Still Deep Cleaning – Nature (Jan 29, 2021)
- It's Time to Talk About COVID-19 and Surfaces Again – Wired (Oct 20, 2021)
Current Library Reopening Status Survey:
RAILS wants to help members keep up-to-date on other libraries' reopening plans. We will provide a reporting tool and service area map for you to review results and compare peer libraries beginning July 1. If/when your service offerings change, please fill out this form again. Only your most up-to-date information will display in the results.
RAILS Delivery FAQ (updated 10/26/20)
RAILS members with delivery questions/concerns can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Send your message from the email address used for your Library Learning (L2) account to have it routed to the correct RAILS service center.
- RAILS (updated 8/26/20) Guidelines for Libraries Considering Curbside Service and/or Phased Reopening
- Initial guidance from RAILS' attorney on modified Stay at Home Order. This information is based on limited information that we will update once the final order is released. (4/24/20)
- The RAILS Burr Ridge service center will be closed until further notice. RAILS staff are working remotely. Find contact information for RAILS staff.
GRANT OPPORTUNITIES: The Secretary of State/Illinois State Library is pleased to announce three new competitive grant offerings available to public libraries and academic libraries. Applications are due August 15, 2021. Awards will be paid based on reimbursement. If you have questions, contact the Illinois State Library, Library Development Group at email@example.com (note the underscore between isl_grants) or by phone 217-524-8836 or 800-665-5576 ext. 2.
- ARPA Funding for Illinois Libraries (ILA 6/3/21)
- Vaccine Eligibility for Libraries in Illinois Counties (ILA) (2/2/21)
- COVID 19 Vaccinations for Library Employees by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink, (1/28/21) (slides) (RAILS Member Update recording)
- Restore Illinois – Mitigation Plan Update Tier Rollback Update (1/15/2021)
- ILA Supports Vaccine Eligibility for Library Staff (1/12/21)
- Secretary of State and State Librarian's Legal Counsel's Office: The meaning of "local governmental entities" cited in the DCEO's guidance for libraries (below FAQ) that "The operations of libraries are at the discretion of local governmental entities." According to the Secretary of State Legal Counsel, "The local governmental entity is the public library board for a library district organized under the Public Library District Act of 1991 (75 ILCSA 16/1-1 et seq.) and the public library board, in consultation with the corporate authority, for a library organized under the Local Library Act (75 ICLS 5/1-1 et seq.)." Additional information can be found here: 11/23/2020 ILA Legislative update update
- Updated guidance on OMA and FOIA during the COVID-19 Pandemic (7-2-20)
- State of Illinois Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Executive Orders
- FEMA Public Assistance Program Applicant Briefing published by IEMA
- Illinois Stay-at-Home Order and Libraries: ILA Statement on Governor Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" Plan (5/8/20)
- Court Issues Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to Stop New Workers Compensation Rules (Municipal Minute) (4/24/20)
- Workers' Compensation New Rule for COVID-19 Claims (Municipal Minute) (4/14/20)
- Libraries and FEMA/IEMA Funding: Public Assistance (PA) FEMA funds via the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). Public libraries and public library districts ARE eligible! Fact Sheet , Public Assistance Grant , Comprehensive information, Steps and Forms
- Launch of website dedicated to COVID-19 information at coronavirus.illinois.gov (3/19/20)
- COVID-19 Response by County
- Chicago COVID Resource Finder
- Illinois Department of Public Health website
- Illinois State Board of Education: Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates And Resources
One year later: Perspectives from the field: Leaders in the library, archives and museum community share the experience of their organizations navigating through the pandemic, the evolution of policies and what's on the horizon.
REALM Project: What We've Learned and What's Next, Hanging Together blog post
REALM Project: Research briefing: Vaccines, variants and ventilation. View briefing here.
REALM Project Update: New Toolkit and Other Resources: The Realm Project released a new toolkit, including visual aids and videos to help support the interpretation and use of REALM laboratory research. (March 2021). Toolkit includes downloadable visual aids and video resources.
REALM Project update: Test 6 Results: Testing for infectious COVID-19 virus on these five materials: glass, marble, laminate, brass, and powder-coated steel
REALM Project update: Test 5 Results: Results and systematic literature review findings
REALM Project update: Test 4 Results: Results show that after six days of quarantine the SARS-CoV-2 virus was still detected on all five materials tested.
REALM Project update: Test 3 Results: Several types of plastic were included in this test.
REALM Project update: Test 2 Results: Natural attenuation as a decontamination approach for SARS-CoV-2 on five additional library materials (7-20-20)
REALM Project update: Test 1 Results: Natural attenuation as a decontamination approach for SARS-CoV-2 on five library materials (6-22-20)
Virus 'does not spread easily' from contaminated surfaces or animals, revised CDC website states, The Washington Post, (5/21/20)
IMLS/OCLC/Battelle: Launches new website, Reopening Archives, Libraries and Museums (REALM), a COVID-19 research project information hub(5/12/20)
Libraries Contemplate Re-Opening (PLA 4/27/20)
- Sample Mask Wearing Policy
- RAILS (UPDATED 8/26/20) Guidelines for Libraries Considering Curbside Service and/or Phased Reopening
RAILS is inviting libraries interested in using 3D printers to assist making PPE for health care facilities to add their information to the RAILS Libraries: 3D Printing for the Health Field spreadsheet. More information.
- 3D Printing for the Health Field & Libraries webinar held on 4/8/20, video recording
- Suggested Policy and Guidelines from HR Source
- Current Library Reopening Status Survey
- Essential Actions and Services During COVID-19 Survey:
Libraries are uniquely positioned to protect the health and safety of the residents of Illinois. In our effort to identify the essential services that libraries are providing through the COVID-19 crisis, please indicate the essential actions your library is performing during this period of general building closure by the governor's order. See results here.
- Virtual Services Survey:
Please supply us with information about what virtual services and programs your library is offering during building closure via our survey. See results here.
- RAILS Member COVID-19 Response Survey – all RAILS members are encouraged to complete this survey. See results here.
- The Impact of COVID-19 Related Closures on Library E-Content Usage
Discounts/Member Offers & Opportunities
- PPE and Protective Gear is available to order through Team One. As a federal government contractor, Team One has access to PPE products such as masks, gloves and a very unique kiosk from HP. Pricing and details are outlined in the RAILS Deals and Discounts page.
- Zoom - RAILS is offering networking groups the opportunity to have their own Zoom meeting license. RAILS has a limited number of licenses that can be used for networking groups that meet on a regular basis. Application for Zoom account.
- RAILS also offers up to $500 per fiscal year of subsidized conference calling service to established member networking groups.
RAILS Member Updates
RAILS will offer regular member update sessions via Zoom as needed.
RAILS Member Update January 28, 2021 10:00 a.m. COVID 19 Vaccinations for Library Employees by Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink, (slides)
- RAILS Member Update - July 23, 2020 (YouTube)- Chat text (unedited) OCLC REALM Project presentation
- RAILS Member Update - June 4, 2020 (YouTube) - Chat text (unedited)
- RAILS Special Member Update - April 16, 2020 (YouTube) - Chat text (unedited)
- RAILS Special Member Update - March 30, 2020 (YouTube)- Chat Text - Edited/Categorized
- RAILS Emergency Member Update - March 16, 2020 (YouTube) - Chat Text - Edited/Categorized
- RAILS will also offer other informational and networking events online. See Related Events listing below.
- RAILS will make recorded versions of these events available on the RAILS YouTube page as possible.
- Share your re-opening plans. Email your plans to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete the Essential Actions and Services During COVID-19 survey. See results here.
- Complete the Virtual Services and Programs survey. See result here.
- Post library policies related to COVID-19 in the Safety section of the online Library Policies Repository on the RAILS website.
- List of Library Reopening Plans
- Collection Toolkit from Canada Urban Libraries Council
- Arlington Heights Memorial Library COVID-19 Story Project
- Schaumburg Township District Library's notice of a confirmed COVID patron example (added 03/25/20)
- Gail Borden Public Library District's bilingual closure communication to library examples (added 03/25/20)
- Work from Home Activities & Resources for Library Workers - Started by Skokie Public Library (added 03/19/20)
- Coronavirus facts and more web page – Oak Park Public Library (added 3/11/20)
- Pandemic Response Procedures – Vernon Area Public Library District (added 3/11/20)
Covid-19 Rarely Spreads Through Surfaces? So Why Are We Still Deep Cleaning – Nature (Jan 29, 2021)
It's Time to Talk About COVID-19 and Surfaces Again – Wired (Oct 20, 2021)
- Deep Cleaning List: The companies provided offer deep cleaning services. This list is for your convenience and not to be taken as an endorsement by RAILS.
- COVID-19: How Long Does the Coronavirus Last on Surfaces? (BBC)
COVID-19 PPE Donations (Americorps Illinois)
How to Sanitize Collections in a Pandemic (American Libraries)
Disinfecting Books and Other Collections -Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 (EPA)
Health Organizations: CDC/WHO
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website
- World Health Organization website
- OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- EEOC What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws
- EEOC GUIDANCE on the Impact of the ADA on COVID-19 Preventative Measures
- Academic Library Response to COVID-19 (Library Journal)
- Serving Patrons Experiencing Homelessness in a COVID-19 Shutdown (Programming Librarian)
- Illinois Municipal League: COVID-19 FAQs and Resources for Municipalities
- Conducting Board Meetings During a Shelter-in-Place Order (Illinois Heartland Library System)
- Social Distancing Guidelines at Work , Coronavirus Resources - SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management)
- ALA COVID-19 Recovery webpage, Strong libraries — and a well-supported library workforce — are essential to the recovery of communities devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This collection of tools, developed and updated by units across the American Library Association, will help communities, library workers, and library supporters plot the best course forward for their libraries.
- Reopening: Guidance for Libraries, published by the American Industrial Hygiene Association developed with input from ALA
- American Association of School Librarians (AASL) - "School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions"
- COVID-19 and CARLI: Latest Updates
- Institute of Museum and Library Services - COVID-19 Resources for Libraries and Museums
- American Libraries, "Reopening: Not 'When', but 'How'?" from 4/17/20
- Illinois Library Association - Coronavirus Resources – includes an FAQ on Libraries and the Coronavirus and other resources
- ALA Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey Results
- PLA: Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19: Survey of Response & Activities
- ALA Executive Board Recommends Closing Libraries to the Public (3/17/20)
- Teen COVID-19 Resource Guide
- Pandemic Resources for School Librarians
- Get Smart About COVID-19 Misinformation (News Literacy Project)
Rural Public WiFi Access Micro Grants from PLA and Microsoft: Available to public libraries serving rural communities
To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library, (The New York Times article)