As CPL returns to indoor, in-person storytimes and other children's programming, having a safe and sanitary children's area of the library is at the forefront of librarians' minds during the pandemic. Cleaning regimes may be difficult to notice by the public, as these procedures often happen outside of public view. So how does CPL keep the Children's area clean? Here are our cleaning protocols:
- General cleaning: The Children's area (and the entire library) are serviced by our night-time maintenance crew, who dust and disinfect all desktops and other hard surfaces, mop hard floors with disinfectant, and vacuum carpeting every evening. Our daytime library staff also spot clean as needed throughout the day, and the night-time crew follows up on any matters that need extra attention. Furniture may be removed from public use if it has suffered an unfortunate accident, until it can be cleaned and is once again user-ready.
- Manipulatives: Like our countertops and other hard surfaces, these wall-mounted items are also cleaned on a nightly basis.
- Puppets: Our puppets are misted with isopropyl alcohol (an antibacterial liquid) each time they are returned to the library. Additionally, our puppets are sent out for laundering three times a year; one of these cleanings preceded their reappearance in the Children's area.
- Storytime kits: We monitor these items when returned and clean as needed.
- Storytime toys: We have suspended ABC Time, our playtime for 0-5 year olds, as we ease into having indoor, in-person storytime sessions. When we do bring back ABC Time, we will initially only use plastic and other hard items that are easily disinfected after each session.
In addition to regular cleaning practices, hand sanitizer is available at the Children's desk (and elsewhere throughout the library) for patrons, as are disinfectant and paper towels for cleaning mice, keyboards, or other surfaces that visitors may wish to sanitize before using.
And for those occasional incidents that merit it, we have bio-hazard tools ready to bring out at a moment's notice to handle "tossed cookies" and similar issues.
CPL wants everyone to enjoy a clean and germ-free library, and we hope that our patrons contribute to this environment by engaging in safe and hygienic behaviors during their library visits.