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General Response
The Boylston Public Library recognizes that in order to faithfully fulfill its mission, members, visitors, and staff must inhabit spaces that are reasonably free of infectious material and promptly take action when a stay-at-home advisory from the Governor or local officials is issued.The Boylston Public Library has established the following policy to respond appropriately to infectious conditions affecting local, county, and state communities.

The Boylston Public Library shall close whenever residents of the Commonwealth receive a stay at home advisory from the Governor. The Library will seek additional guidance either from the Board of Selectmen or the Boylston Board of Health. In addition, if the Governor does not issue a stay at home advisory and the Library Director believes for any practical reason that accessing the Library poses a threat to public health, it will close.

At the advised discretion of the Library Director or their proxy, the Library may close, reduce its operating hours, or limit services in the event that there is insufficient staff to maintain essential services during a stay at home advisory. In the event of a closure, public service policies may be reevaluated and changed to fit the circumstances.

Expectations for Patrons Entering the Library Facility
Staff shall carefully follow and instruct the public to adhere to any safety protocols identified by the Governor or other local, state, or federal public health officials to address matters of public health. The Library reserves the right to prohibit anyone from willingly entering the Library if they refuse to wear personal protective equipment either identified by the Governor, state or public health officials as necessary to maintain public health conditions without a valid medical exemption. Although the Library from time to time may offer to the public personal protective equipment, it tacitly assumes no mutual obligation to do so. Patrons in direct violation of this policy, as with any other policy approved by the Board of Trustees, will be denied entry to the library building or asked to leave. Staff will follow the unacceptable use protocols for non compliant individuals.

Patrons exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are expected not to enter the library facility.  In such cases, patrons may request contactless pick up of materials or home delivery. The Library Director and Board of Trustees may institute a policy requiring all patrons to undergo a health screening survey before entering the building. Patrons refusing to adhere to these guidelines may be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with the library’s Appropriate Library Use Policy.

Expectations for Staff
Staff exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are expected to stay home from work. Any staff member showing or developing symptoms while at the library will be sent home. If the staff member cannot safely drive home, they will be quarantined in the Nonfiction Room of the library until transportation can be arranged. Symptomatic staff members are required to alert the Director and be tested for COVID-19, and then report the results to the Director. If a staff member tests positive, all staff who have been in close contact with said staff member will be required to follow current quarantine guidelines at the discretion of the Director.

If a staff member has been in contact with someone who has tested positive, they will likewise be asked to follow current guidelines at the discretion of the Director. No staff member who tests positive or has been in contact with a positive case shall be allowed on the library property until return to work criteria (outlined below) is met.

In the event that a staff member tests positive, the library may close and remain closed, until the Director has consulted with the Board of Trustees and the Boylston Board of Health and developed a safe reopening plan based on staffing levels and risk factors.

A list of testing facilities in Massachusetts can be found here:


  • All staff will receive their own supply of disinfectants, hand sanitizer, gloves and masks to keep at their workspace. Staff will follow the following protocols while in the building:

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Avoid close contact.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a face cover when around others. If there is more than one person in the building, wear a mask.

  • Clean and disinfect according to the daily cleaning checklist.

  • Monitor your Health. If you start to feel unwell, please inform a team member and leave for the day.

The Director and Board of Trustees may at any time decide to close the library to the public and return to contactless services without prior notice. If for any reason, the Library Director is unable or unavailable to faithfully perform the responsibilities and decisions outlined in this policy, the administrative authority shall be, in order: the Assistant Director, Children’s Librarian, and the Senior Library Associate, in collaboration with the Board of Trustees.

Returning to Work after a Positive COVID-19 Test, Symptoms, or Exposure

For employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 and plan to return to work, the employee may not do so until they meet the current quarantine guidelines, plus ALL of the following criteria before returning to work:


  • Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications; and,

  • Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).

For employees who have exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 but have not received a positive test, said employee must meet the above criteria plus ALL of the following criteria before returning to work:

  • At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared; and,

  • Negative result of COVID-19 test from one nasopharyngeal swab (nasal swab) collection.

For employees who have no symptoms of COVID-19 but have had close contact with a positive case, said employee must meet the current quarantine guidelines, plus the following criterion before returning to work:


  • Negative result of COVID-19 test from one nasopharyngeal swab (nasal swab) collection.



The criteria listed above for employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, those experiencing symptoms without a positive test, or those who have had contact with another positive case, shall be reported to the Library Director or proxy prior to said employee’s return to work.


Please note: the above criteria are based on current guidelines and are subject to change as the public health emergency continues to develop. Any changes to these criteria, or protocol in general, shall be communicated to the affected employees as soon as practicable.


Note Regarding Use of Sick Time

Any employee in quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19, or who is out due to symptoms of COVID-19, will not be penalized for their absence. Staff who are able to work from home may be asked to do so by the Director. Staff may use sick time for the purposes of self-quarantining, even if they do not feel ill.


Library services may be suspended temporarily if one or more staff are sick or self-quarantining.

Approved 1/12/2022 by the Boylston Board of Library Trustees

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