The Building is Closed; the Library is open.

“Plaza-Pickup” of library material has begun. We look forward to providing more on-site services soon, in the meantime our online resources, e-books, remote programs, and reference services are still available. Need a library card?  Apply online!

Library Info

Our Policies

Update: Re-Opening Plan

Post-PAUSE Plan: Preparing John Jermain for a RE-IMAGINED Future

As we reopen our physical spaces, and our materials and resources are again made available to the public, the John Jermain Memorial Library continues to place the safety and well-being of our staff and patrons at the forefront of our mission: We choose to stand with the community we serve, no matter how changed by the times.

The library director, staff and trustees will continually review available legal and safety guidance concerning COVID-19 from applicable federal, state, local and professional resources and adapt and amend policies as necessary. While the situation concerning the virus is ever-evolving, we are currently following protocols recommended by the CDC, WHO, New York State agencies and various library consortiums and organizations as part of a phased reopening compliant with NYS regulations. These protocols, detailed below, are adopted as part of our institutional commitment to collaboration and communication, described in the 12-point JJML Long Range Plan, adopted by the Board of Trustees in October, 2018.

Physical Space

In the short-term, JJML will need to immediately reconfigure our facility and make significant changes to design, layout, public/staff work spaces, and entrance/exit areas in order to maintain proper distancing and create an environment that is safe for both staff and the public.

Some library spaces such as meeting rooms, conference rooms, and communal reading areas need to be repurposed to support safe social distancing until a time when onsite events are again deemed possible.

The Director and Facilities Manager, with input from the staff, have designed procedures for the cleaning and disinfecting of common areas, work spaces, and areas where public may (eventually) congregate. In order to facilitate extensive cleaning of the facility, the library will reduce both days and hours open, as detailed below. All interior doors to office spaces will remain open for increased air circulation. Two separate UV air-filter units have been ordered for the HVAC system (one for the archive/IT, and one for the large system that conditions the public portions of the building). Air filters, located in the roof penthouse, were designed from inception to provide HEPA-level filtration. Under the terms of our HVAC contract, current filters will be replaced on a more frequent basis. In review, it was not advisable to increase air flow into the building in the summer months due to humidity issues, however, this will be reevaluated in the fall should infection rates warrant additional protocols in advance of the winter season.

Access to commonly shared spaces (bathrooms, kitchens, public desks) has been reconfigured. One restroom on each floor has been temporarily reallocated as a staff-only restroom; staff will be assigned to the use of only one restroom, limiting the number of employees using each facility to three or fewer per day. Automatic soap dispensers have been ordered for all restrooms.

Staff workstations have been moved and rearranged to create greater distance between employees, and commonly shared objects such as phones, computers and keyboards will be limited to use by only one employee per day/shift and cleaned after each day/shift. Where possible, staff work spaces have been additionally reallocated to limit the use of commonly shared items to only one employee.

When the library does open to the public, access will be staged and limited (see proposed timeline at the end of this document). In order to facilitate appropriate social-distancing recommendations, egress will be limited to the Lower Level, with entrance through the ADA-compliant automatic door; patrons exiting the building may be directed to the Lower Level meeting room door. Once areas of the building are open to browsing, one stairway will be designated for patrons and staff traveling up, and the other reserved for patrons and staff traveling down.

Hand sanitizer has been ordered in bulk for placement at all employee desks. The library has also ordered tools to help create distancing including tape, sneeze guards, and signage.

Additional book-drop bins have been purchased to facilitate the 72-hour quarantine period recommended by current guidelines.

Safety and Cleaning Products

One significant challenge the library will face is gaining access to essential safety and cleaning supplies. We acknowledge that some supplies will be very difficult to procure and quite expensive particularly as businesses of all types begin to reopen with similar needs to ours; advance ordering procedures and allocation of funds to purchase these materials is a recognized priority.

Library Staff

Employees have been divided into two mutually-exclusive service teams in order to mitigate the the spread of Covid-19. Each team draws from the strengths and skill-sets of our talented, committed and collaborative staff.

1. The institution will respond to a staff member diagnosed with Covid-19 as required by law. This response may include temporary quarantine for all members of the individual’s team. The alternate team will be required to step in during the period of quarantine to provide services as assigned.

2. All staff will be required to wear PPE including library-provided face masks and face shields; staff who will not comply will be sent home, and accrued benefit hours will be used to cover pay for the shift. Masks are currently required as per NYS Executive Orders and local recommendation. Staff who repeatedly refuse to comply and/or who wear the mask incorrectly, may face probation and/or termination.

3. All staff will be required to conduct a health assessment on each scheduled workday before allowed access to the building. This health assessment is currently required as per EO, and staff who refuse to comply or falsify health information may face probation and/or termination. Staff members who knowingly come to work with symptoms resembling any of the symptoms associated with Covid-19 compromise the library, its staff, its mission and the community at large.

4. JJML recognizes that its workforce is central to the delivery of public services, and precautions listed here will be continuously reviewed, and may be amended and enhanced in response to emerging information. Legal information as it relates to personnel will also be regularly reviewed by the board, the director, and by legal counsel. Benefits and options have been made available to staff, and will continue to be updated, disseminated and posted in good faith and as required by law.

The director and the board recognize that no preventative measures, no matter how thorough and/or proactive can totally eliminate the risk of infection. Staff will be required to sign a statement that they are aware of and will comply with the numbered items listed above.

Public Service Model

Library staff will need to return to the building in advance of even a limited-opening to the public, in order to prepare the physical space, process returns and reserves, and update procedures.

Additionally, the library, even after opening on a limited basis, will:

  • Limit the days and hours the library is open to the public.
  • Explore pro-active options for remote reference and readers’ advisory services.
  • Consider specific “hours” for specific populations (seniors/high risk, children/caregivers/teens, etc.),
  • Limit the number of patrons in the library at any time.
  • Limit and/or remove access to portions of the library, by phase.
  • Institute “Plaza Pick-up” services for contactless circulation of reserved and requested library materials, in accordance with SCLS guidance.
  • Consider mailing of items.
  • Consider extension of due dates/loan periods.
  • Continue our practice of a fine-free service model.

Service to Patrons and Community Groups

The library considers itself a key member of the business district, a committed partner to families and educators, a provider of opportunities to all segments of our demographic, and a sanctuary for all who come to us. We recognize the difficulties our patrons may experience during a time when our service model is revised in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Imagination, innovation, and funding will be allocated to support underserved and difficult to serve groups, including but not limited to:

  • Our homeless patrons, including an increasing number of seasonally homeless community members,
  • Unemployed and seasonally unemployed patrons,
  • Job seekers,
  • Families and individuals experiencing hunger,
  • Families and individuals without access to digital resources,
  • Families and individuals whose citizenship status may prevent them from receiving social services,
  • Seniors and other patrons for whom transportation and mobility limits may prevent access to library resources,
  • Hearing impaired patrons who may have difficulty reading lips of service providers wearing masks,
  • Low-vision patrons who may have difficulty seeing while using a face mask,
  • English Language Learners, and speakers of other languages,
  • Students of every age engaged in remote learning,
  • Small and local business in need of research and business support,
  • Other local non-profits compromised by a lack of funding from both donors and admission fees.

These groups are explicitly and intentionally listed in this document as an acknowledgement of the challenges and opportunities that we will experience as we serve our full community in a rapidly changing world. We do not have all the answers now, but are committed to exploring best practices, and adopting new and evolving service models as they develop, including collaborative work with schools, art agencies, businesses, local civic groups and local government. Additionally, we may need to consider providing portable computers and Wi-Fi hotspots to families and individuals who do not have access to these technologies in order to provide equitable access to our services.

Public Behavior

When JJML opens to the public, even on a limited basis, patrons will be required to wear masks. All staff will be trained in dealing with conflict resolution in order to facilitate a compassionate enforcement of rapidly changing policies and practices.

Materials and Collections

Protocols concerning our publicly available materials and tangible resources are in turn informed by New York State and Suffolk County Health Officials as well as professional organizations such as OCLC, SCLS and IMLS. In accord with these protocols, library materials that have been borrowed and returned, including Inter-Library Loan and Direct Access returns, will be quarantined for a period of 72 hours before handling.

Technologies

The use of public access computers, maker spaces, and other technologies including photocopy machines, fax machines and scanners, may need to be restricted, modified, or intermediated in order to maintain safe distancing. JJML will need to limit the face-to-face assistance that can be offered, may need extra sets of commonly requested items (scissors, staplers, pens, etc.), and will need to install keyboards, screens, and computer mice that can be easily cleaned. An app for self-checkout via mobile device has been ordered, as have additional portable devices for circulation. Plans are in place to boost our Wi-Fi to provide a stronger signal outside of the building. Additional precautions have been initiated to protect library security.

Volunteers, Paid Interns and Friends of the Library

JJML has a longstanding relationship with our interns and our Friends group. At this time, current events require us to temporarily suspend in-building collaborative activities.

Library Events, Programming and Community Use of the Meeting Room Spaces

JJML will need to wait well beyond the opening up of library building and the expansion of library services to begin hosting onsite events again. General governmental guidance for public gatherings as well as data on local infection rates will dictate the decision to resume onsite events.

Remote programming will continue to be an essential service for the near future. Resources will be dedicated to the exploration of delivery of remote services to under-served populations.

Communication

JJML has used and will continue to use multiple formats to communicate with our patrons, including an FAQ page on the website, a radio PSA, blog posts, mailings, e-mailings, and use of social media. Translations of key documents into Spanish is in place on our website, as well as for a planned summer mailing.

Projected Timeline of Services by Stage

The Director, in consideration of advice from the library’s legal counsel as well as recommendations from state and local governments, health organizations, and library associations, has established a provisional schedule for the re-establishment of in-building library services. The Director recognizes the potential need for protocols that allow for the immediate return of remote-only services should it be indicated by health data. Each new stage of this plan will be undertaken only after careful consideration of legislative guidelines and/or statistical data. The Director may authorize re-closing the facility, or a return to any prior stage of the opening plan as deemed necessary.

Staff will be expected to maintain the hours for which they are paid by combining in-building and remote work as assigned.

Some staff may be permitted access to the building on Mondays or during early hours as necessary to maintain and protect the library’s mission; this access must be explicitly approved by the director.

Stage 1, starting June 2, 2020

Library staffed Tuesday-Saturday. Staff return to library in teams. Teams work two weekdays per week and alternating Saturdays.

Shifts will run from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Staff are not required to take an unpaid meal break for a work day of this length, although one paid 20-minute rest break per shift will be allowed on a “one at a time” basis as long as social distancing is maintained.

Stage 2, starting June 16, 2020:

Begin Plaza-Pickup of library materials from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays.

Library staffed Tuesday-Saturday. Staff continue to work in teams. Teams work two weekdays per week and alternating Saturdays.

Shifts will run from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Staff are not required to take an unpaid meal break for a work day of this length, although one paid 20-minute rest break per shift will be allowed on a “one at a time” basis for a work day of this length, although rest breaks will be allowed as long as social distancing is maintained.

Stage 3:

Plaza Pick-up services continue, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, and 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturdays.

Library staffed Tuesday-Saturday. Staff continue to work in teams. Teams work two weekdays per week and alternating Saturdays.

Shifts will run from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m. Staff are not required to take an unpaid meal break for a work day of this length, although one paid 20-minute rest break per shift will be allowed on a “one at a time” basis as long as social distancing is maintained.

Stage 4: 

After careful consideration of data and legislation, library may begin limited socially-distanced use of parts of the facility for browsing.

Library will remain closed on Sundays and Mondays to facilitate cleaning.

Library staffed Tuesday-Saturday. Staff continue to work in teams. Teams work two weekdays per week and alternating Saturdays. Increase in staff hours on-site probable.

Return to “Normal”

Programs, gatherings, and use of the library by individuals for extended periods of time will be implemented when it is deemed advisable. Open hours may continue to be limited to facilitate cleaning.

Long Range Planning

The Director and the Board of Trustees commit to reviewing all parts of operations including; risk, governance, policies, facility, finances, staffing, services, collections, technologies, outreach/public relations, budget and staff development in order to keep staff and the public safe during this global pandemic.

Catherine Creedon, Director
Approved by the Board of Trustees May 27, 2020


Designated Spaces Policy

The Library reserves the right to limit access and use of designated spaces within the building, and in its digital, virtual, and social media spaces, for specific audiences and/or purposes. Limited-use areas include, but are not limited to, the Children’s Room, the Teen Space, the Scala Rotunda, The Scholar’s Study, the Lower Level tutoring space, the Community Meeting Room, the Library website, the Library Instagram account, the Library Teen Instagram account, and the Library Facebook page. This policy also applies to all renamed and reallocated spaces within the building, as well as any newly emerging digital platforms adopted by the Library. Each has its own requirements, outlined below. For additional information about the use of these areas, see the library’s Meeting Room Use policy.

The Director is authorized to develop and amend guidelines pertaining to the utilization of designated spaces, and to make exceptions to designated use from time-to-time as the need arises.

The Scala Rotunda

The Rotunda is reserved exclusively for quiet study and contemplation. Conversations, cell-phone use, the use of audio-devices without headphones, and collaborative activities are not permitted in this space.

Paul A. Wagner Scholar’s Study

The Scholar’s Study, adjacent to the Scala Rotunda, is used for a variety of Library-sponsored or library-supported programming including, but not limited to, small seminar-style programs, critique groups, support groups, one-on-one programming, staff work requiring a designated space, and library-supported programming including Literacy Volunteer sessions. When the room is not in use by the library, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis for patrons pursuing quiet study only, and is not for use by tutors or patrons engaged in collaborative activities. The Library does not guarantee availability of this study space for patrons, and patrons using the room may be asked to leave if the room is required for library-related activities. Anyone using this room should be aware that staff may access the space at any time for the retrieval of reference materials.

Philip Dusenberry Community Workroom

The Community Workroom, located on the Main Floor, is used for a variety of library-sponsored and library-supported programming including, but not limited to, small seminar-style programs, critique groups, support groups, one-on-one programming, staff work requiring a designated space, and library-supported programming including Literacy Volunteer sessions. When the room is not in use by the library, it is available on a first-come, first-served basis for patrons pursuing quiet study only, and is not for use by tutors or patrons engaged in collaborative activities. The Library does not guarantee availability of this study space for patrons, and patrons using the room may be asked to leave if the room is required for library-related activities. Anyone using this room should be aware that staff may access the space at any time for the retrieval of reference materials.

Paul A. Wagner Children’s Room

The Children’s Room is designed and intended for use by children, birth through 8th grade, their parents/caregivers, and educators. Other patrons should limit their visits to the Children’s Room to the perusal of the collection and the selection of materials. Information on the use of computers in the Children’s Room can be found in the Computer Use Policy.

Ted Baldwin Teen Space

The Teen Space, located on the Lower Level, is intended for use by teens in grades 6 through 12. Other patrons should limit their visits to the Teen Space to the perusal of the collection and the selection of materials. Information on the use of computers in the Teen Space can be found in the Computer Use Policy.

Upper Level Computer Lab

The Computer Lab includes public computers for use by patrons ages 14 through adult.
These computers may be accessed via a log-in using the barcode from any Suffok County Library card or with a guest pass. Daily use of these computers is limited to a maximum of 4 hours and 5 minutes per person. Additional information can be found in the Computer Use Policy.

Tutorial/Group Study Areas

The Library has designated the tables outside of the Meeting Room for tutoring and group study. These tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis; they may not be reserved, nor may other Library users be asked to move to accommodate tutors or groups. The Library does not guarantee availability of tutorial/group study space.

The Friends of the Library Community Meeting Room

The Meeting Room is used for a variety of Library-sponsored or Library-supported programming including, but not limited to, small seminar-style programs, critique groups, support groups, one-on-one programming, staff work requiring a designated space, and Library supported programming including Literacy Volunteer sessions.

John Jermain Digital and Virtual Platforms and Spaces

The Library’s virtual and electronic spaces, including its website, calendar, and social media accounts, are used for promotion of the library and its collections, for the dissemination of information, as well as for a variety of library-sponsored and library-supported programming. The use of these platforms by other organizations is strictly limited to the terms set forth in our Meeting Room Use Policy, and are subject to the director’s approval.

Approved by the Board of Trustees: September 2017
With updates to reflect space-use changes: September 2018
With Amendments added April 2020

Long Range Plan: Goals and Objectives

1. Strengthen collaborations with local institutions and organizations, such as Museums, Schools, and Chamber of Commerce to develop joint educational and informational programs.

2. Strengthen communications with various demographics, including seniors, young adults and emerging adults, families, the Latino community, second-home owners, area business leaders and legislators. Facilitate outreach and community input-sessions in order to hear from all underserved groups.

3. Continue to collaborate with other libraries in the county to develop new technology and services. Continue traditional cooperation on inter-library loan of materials, government information, talking books and digital materials.

4. Collaborate with government agencies and library associations at the local, state and federal levels around shared objectives, especially when important policy issues are discussed and decisions made.

5. Communicate the library’s brand through outreach, and by publicizing programs and materials. Take proactive and sustained steps to brand the library as a platform for community learning, development and entertainment.

6. Engage the full community in planning and decision-making. Respond to community input in developing new services and programs.

7. Expand the “Library without Walls” concept through offsite programming, 24/7 access to digital materials, and expansion of “Library of Things.”

8. Commit to an activist mindset in collecting hyper-local content, including historic materials, ephemera, and digital-original content.

9. Develop a Board that fully represents the residents of the library service area.

10. Responsibly steward the library’s fiscal resources through management of tax-revenues and enhancing donor database.

11. Recruit and hire a diverse and certified staff; develop employee engagement through competitive salaries and benefits, and by providing opportunities for professional development and innovation.

12. Create an annual report of statistics, funding, programs and services.

Meeting Room Use Policy

If not scheduled for use by the library, the JJML meeting room spaces may be available during normal library hours for use by outside non-profit groups that have or will have a collaborative relationship with the Library including but not limited to:

The Friends of the John Jermain Library

SHUFSD and its ancillary organizations such as the PTA and PTSA

The Sag Harbor Historical Society

The Sag Harbor Cultural District Member Organizations

The Custom House and SPLIA

The Whaling Museum

The Chamber of Commerce

The Sag Harbor Food Pantry

Requests for use by these groups are granted pending availability, which is not guaranteed. Availability will be determined solely by the Library. No for-profit events or fundraising events by outside groups are permitted. No campaigning, solicitation or gambling is allowed on library premises.

“The Library” refers to the John Jermain building, as well as its digital, virtual, and offsite presence. The rules set forth in this policy apply in all current and evolving settings, both physical and virtual. The Library may, at its discretion, use its virtual and electronic spaces, including its website, calendar, and social media accounts to host and promote on a limited basis outside non-profit groups that have or will have a collaborative relationship with the Library, as outlined above.

Any patron who violates the library rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the Library, its programs, and its electronic accounts by the Library Board of Trustees, on recommendation of the Library Director.

Approved by the Board of Trustees: September 2017
With updates to reflect space-use changes: September 2018
With Amendments added April 2020

Patron Behavior Policy

Patrons are encouraged to read, study and use library materials, and to take part in programs or similar activities associated with the use of a public library. Any person not so engaged may be required to leave the library premises. Patrons are prohibited from engaging in any activity which constitutes an annoyance, disruption, distraction, or safety or health hazard to other patrons or library staff, as well as the orderly and peaceful use and enjoyment of the library and library premises such as:

Refusing to wear and/or properly wear Personal Protective Equipment such as masks, when such use is required by the library due to public health conditions;

Refusing to comply with established Social Distancing Guidelines as implemented by the Library when necessary for public safety;

Interfering with other patrons’ reasonable expectation of privacy;

Interfering with Library staff’s performance of their duties;

Leaving children under the age of ten (10) unattended on the premises;

Using harassing, obscene, abusive, or insulting language or gestures;

Causing a disturbance by arguing, propagandizing, or proselytizing;

Soliciting, gambling, distributing leaflets or petitions, congregating, or sleeping in the library or on library premises;

Engaging in loud or boisterous activities;

Consuming food or beverages outside of designated areas;

Smoking or vaping in the building or within a fifty-foot radius of any entrance or exit;

Skateboarding on Library premises;

Listening to music, movies, or other audio content without the use of headphones;

Improperly using Library restrooms or facilities, for prohibited activities, such as bathing, shaving, laundering;

Possessing, distributing, or consuming alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances or misusing legal substances such as glue or prescription medications;

Possessing or using a dangerous weapon;

Damaging, defacing, destroying, or stealing any material, equipment, or property belonging to the library, fellow patrons or library staff;

Accessing the Library’s restricted staff network and/or the proprietary data stored thereon without permission, or using the Library’s public network for criminal purposes or to violate the privacy of others;

Rearranging library shelving, furnishings or furniture, or using it improperly, including sitting on or putting feet on tables, or excessive spreading of personal effects including computing devices, bags, clothing and papers;

Connecting more than two personal computing devices at any time to the Library’s wireless network;

Talking on cell phones inside the library, with the exception of designated areas;

Entering the building without footwear or appropriate clothing; ;

Evidencing bodily hygiene so offensive as to constitute a nuisance to other persons;

Bringing any pets, with the exception of service dogs as allowed under The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) legislation.

Library personnel will enforce these rules. Patrons not complying will be asked to leave. Library personnel are authorized to contact the police to ensure compliance.

Any patron who violates the Library rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the Library by the Library Board of Trustees, on recommendation of the Library Director. Any patron whose privileges have been denied may have that decision reviewed by the Board of Trustees.

For the purposes of this policy “The Library” refers to the John Jermain building and immediate premises surrounding the building, as well as its digital and offsite presence; these rules for patron behavior apply in all current and evolving settings, both physical and virtual and the Library will enforce its Patron Behavior Policy in all library designated spaces, including its social media accounts. Any patron who violates the library rules and regulations may be denied the privilege of access to the Library, its programs, and its electronic accounts by the Library Board of Trustees, on recommendation of the Library Director.

Approved December 2018; amended April 2020; Amended May 2020