Covid-19 guidance

Revised 05/07/2021

Coronavirus and schools library resources FAQs

Q. What measures have been taken to ensure resources from the Schools Library Service are risk-free?

Guidance from the COVID-19 Guidance Cell of Public Health England’s National Infection Service, as advised to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 27 March 2020 states: –

  • The risk from books covered in a plastic cover handled by someone who is a possible COVID-19 case is negligible after 72 hours.
  • The risk from books with a cardboard/paper cover is negligible after 24 hours.

Resources returned to the Schools Library Services will be quarantined for 72 hours prior to handling by staff.

After resources are issued and packed, there will be a sticker on each crate delivered giving the date the resources were last handled. We advise that you follow your own organisation’s procedure when unpacking.

We will continue to follow these procedures after July 2021

Q. How long should books be quarantined for if they have been handled by someone who is a possible COVID-19 case?

Guidance from the COVID-19 Guidance Cell of Public Health England’s National Infection Service, as advised to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on 27 March 2020 states: –

  • The risk from books covered in a plastic cover handled by someone who is a possible COVID-19 case is negligible after 72 hours.
  • The risk from books with a cardboard/paper cover is negligible after 24 hours.

Q. Where can I find a risk assessment template for school libraries?

CILIP and the School Library Association have produced guidelines and risk assessment templates for the safe opening of primary and secondary school libraries

CILIP, SLG & SLA (2020) COVID-19 Guidance for School Libraries. Available: https://www.cilip.org.uk/news/news.asp?id=506793

 

Example of how one primary school librarian is making books available to all classes

Select 120 – 200 books from the library for each classroom

On a set day each week, each pupil choses a book from this pool. They return the book 4 days later, which allows for a quarantine period of 72 hours until the next borrowing day. This may be calculated to allow children to read at home over the weekend or to keep books within the classroom space.

Sample timetable:

  • Thursday: Pupils select a book or books
  • Friday – Sunday: Reading period
  • Monday morning: Books returned and put in box allocated as “quarantine bin”
  • Monday – Wednesday: Quarantine period

Younger children borrowing picture books and early readers would take more than one book at a time to read during the loan period.

These pools of books could be regularly refreshed as needed or upon request.

Small groups of children in “bubbles” can be timetabled to visit the library. They should sanitise their hands before handling the books, and book covers can be cleaned with anti-bacterial wipes as necessary.

Opening Times

During the summer holiday, please telephone to arrange a visit.

Term time Monday – Thursday: 9am to 5pm

Fridays and holidays: 9am to 4:30pm