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Networking Group FAQs

This week, CCS hosted virtual networking groups for technical services and circulation staff. Below are some of the questions that were asked.


How long should libraries quarantine materials?

At their May 20 meeting, Governing Board will vote on whether CCS libraries should have a standard quarantine period. CCS recommends that all CCS libraries follow a shared quarantine period based on RAILS guidance until the Northeast Region reaches Phase 4 or new research calls for a revision to either the length of the quarantine period or the phases in which it is required.


As of May 13, RAILS is recommending a quarantine period of up to 7 days, based in part on a study from The Lancet.

Should libraries prepare to quarantine RAILS deliveries for 7 days once RAILS resumes deliveries?

CCS recommends that libraries quarantine all incoming materials, including those returned by patrons, RAILS and/or other delivery services (UPS, Fedex, etc).

Libraries can use free days and grace periods to ensure that patrons aren't charged overdue fees while materials are being quarantined. What's the difference between free days and grace periods?

With a grace period, patrons can return an item a little late without incurring a fine. If the patron returns the item beyond the grace period, the patron will be fined for the entire overdue period.

  • Example: a library has a 3 day grace period. The patron returns an item 2 days overdue. Since the return still falls within the grace period, the patron will not be fined.

  • Example: a library has a 3 day grace period. The patron returns an item 5 days overdue. Since the return falls outside of the grace period, the patron is fined for the full 5 days.

Free Days are automatically omitted from the overdue fine calculation during check in. CCS can set a default Free Day amount for a library, or staff can manually apply Free Days during check in.

  • Example: a staff member is checking in a bin of returned items and sets the Free Day amount to 7. Fines will not be counted and applied for the past 7 days. If an item is two weeks overdue, it will only incur one week's worth of fines instead of two.

How are libraries adjusting circulation rules for different collections during this time?

Some libraries will not be circulating "library of things" materials, dolls and other toys, puzzles or items with many pieces, and items that will not fit in the book drop. Other libraries are planning to allow "hot" and "quick pick" collections to be holdable. Libraries can perform bulk changes to modify item settings, or can email help@ccslib.org for assistance modifying holdable and PowerPAC display settings.

Where will libraries be storing materials that are in quarantine?

Libraries reported that they will be storing returned materials in meeting rooms, auditoriums, and/or program rooms. Some libraries will be storing new materials received from vendors separately from items returned by patrons.


Libraries should not use RAILS blue bins to quarantine material.

What do we do with items that are returned to us that belong to other CCS members, especially when we do not know when RAILS will resume delivery?

When a library begins to accept returns from the public, all items should be quarantined for the recommended period. After the quarantine period, items belonging to other CCS libraries can be checked in and their status set to in transit to their home library. Those items must be stored until RAILS resumes delivery services.


RAILS' initial plans for restarting delivery include:

  • Libraries will get two weeks’ notice prior to delivery restarting

  • Libraries can share new protocols with the delivery help desk as needed

  • Contactless delivery will be preferred

  • Initial delivery runs will be to return material currently held by RAILS/CTS to owning libraries

  • RAILS has ordered additional bins to help support a temporary increase in volume

  • Libraries MAY NOT use the blue bins to quarantine material. Even with new bins on the way, RAILS does not have enough to provide service if bins are not in circulation.

Delivery information is subject to change as RAILS plans develop. RAILS will communicate with libraries directly as well as with consortia as their plans develop.

What information does CCS need from our library if we are planning to start checking in materials or reopening for curbside/drive-up pickup?

CCS shared a reopening survey with library directors. This survey will help CCS understand individual library plans for reopening. Click the document below to preview the survey.

Reopening Survey Previewdocx



Is the Palatine and Grayslake project on hold until the pandemic is over?

CCS, Palatine and Grayslake have been hard at work the past month to keep the project on track! We anticipate that both libraries will go live in CCS the week of September 7, following Labor Day weekend. Review the migration schedule!

How are technical services staff accessing the staff client from home?

If library staff are working from home on personal devices to access either Leap or the staff client, the attached form should be completed by their library director. If you would like to request Polaris staff client installation on a personal device, include the username and workstation information for staff requiring Polaris staff client access. Completed forms should be sent to help@ccslib.org.


No action needs to be taken for staff working on library-issued devices.

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