Pocahontas County Free Libraries

Severe Weather Policy

The branches of the Pocahontas County Free Libraries rarely close for severe weather in accordance with our commitment to public service. However, the safety of employees and the public is paramount.

Severe weather includes flooding or imminent flooding, heavy snowstorms or ice storms, roadway blockages, emergency threats such as chemical spills, long-term power outages, equipment breakages affecting heating or cooling, or other issues that affect safety within a library facility or safe travel to or from that facility.

Decisions about closure will be branch by branch. Weather or other conditions in one part of the county may not affect other parts of the county. School closures will have no influence on library closings. A directive to close from a recognized law enforcement entity or fire department will take precedence over that of any PCFL staff.

The first line of authority for a decision to close will be the PCFL Director. In his/her absence, the branch librarian will make that decision. Any decision to close will be documented in writing and placed in a file available for the PCFL board.

If possible and feasible, the public will be notified by a printed notice posted on the library entrance, and by a notification to the radio station for public announcement.

Employees who feel travel is unsafe for their particular situation should stay put regardless of whether they can reach the library director for authorization. Travel should resume once conditions are deemed safe, unless the amount of time remaining to work would be limited.

Hourly employees will not receive pay for missed work, and cannot expect make-up time. Salaried employees will be asked to develop and implement a plan for make-up time or to use annual leave time. A make-up plan will require authorization by the PCFL Director, and might include work from home.

In the event of an early closing, the parents or legal guardians of unattended children will be notified by phone. If a responsible party cannot be reached, and the library must be closed, then the police department will be notified.

Patrons will not be penalized for overdue books during the period of a library closing.