Operational Plan during Coronavirus Crisis
To address concerns raised by the coronavirus pandemic, Books on the Square will be making changes in its operations effective Saturday, March 21. The objective underlying these changes is to continue to provide learning and entertainment materials to our customers without a significant increase in health risk for our customers and our staff. To reduce the health risk raised by the coronavirus, as well as by the flu, we will reduce the likelihood of infection by the primary source of transmission through droplets resulting from sneezing and coughing, as well as by the secondary source of transmission through contact with surfaces that have been contaminated by the COVID-19 virus. The primary source of transmission will be blocked by “social distancing” (now, often referred to by the more apt name: “physical distancing”) to maintain a six-foot distance between buyer and seller. We will also reduce the total occupancy of the first floor to 10 to maintain recommended physical distancing between customers. The secondary source of transmission will be blocked by disinfecting furniture, counter tops, and books that have been handled by customers but not purchased. Our staff has also been trained on proper hand washing and sanitizing procedures. Our kids’ story times and our book clubs have been cancelled until further notice. Changes to enable these general principles to be carried out are described below. The success of this overall plan will be made possible by a committed and trained staff that is attentive to health concerns and dedicated to providing resources for reading and play.
Operational Changes as of Saturday, March 21, 2020
--Hours will be reduced to 10:00 am ‒ 6:00pm, seven days per week.
--Maximum occupancy on first floor will be set at 10.
--Books can be ordered by phone at (401) 331-9097 or on our website.
--These books can be picked up in the parking lot at the back door, or mailed to the customer’s home without a shipping charge.
--Free home delivery, within a 2-mile radius, is available on Thursdays.
--Audiobooks are also available through our site libro.fm/booksq.
--To eliminate staff-customer separations less than 6-feet, in-store purchases can be made by placing the items to be bought on a separated BUY table along with the customer’s credit card-we will no longer be accepting cash. A staff member will pick up the customer’s order, process it at the cash register, and return the books (and receipt) to the BUY table for the customer to take away. The BUY table will be disinfected regularly.
--To eliminate possible secondary transmission from customer to customer, books that have been handled by a customer ‒ but not purchased ‒ should be placed on one of several tables throughout the store labeled: DISINFECT AND RE-SHELVE
Revision will be posted as experience and changing circumstances dictate.
Thank you for your understanding and support as we work through these times together.
Letter to the Community:
With the health and safety of our staff and community members in mind, Books on the Square wishes to inform our community of our commitment to taking proactive measures regarding COVID-19.
Our mission as an independent bookstore is multifold, including being a space our community can count on to be open, accessible, welcoming and safe. As the COVID-19 crisis develops, we have implemented procedures in the store to sanitize frequently used objects and surfaces and make tissues and hand sanitizer available to our customers and staff.
We strongly encourage everyone to follow CDC guidelines: stay home and away from others when sick, wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, cough into your elbow and not your hands, avoid touching your face, and stay informed. We feel that no employee needs to take a risk to make a paycheck, so we have implemented a policy that if any staff member does not feel well, they will stay at home without worrying about financial repercussions. We are all practicing social distancing when possible.
If you are concerned about coming into the bookstore, we are happy to announce parking lot pickup. Simply call and pay for a book over the phone, pull into the parking lot out back and call us to say you are here. We’ll run out with your book order.
Our online ordering is also available at booksq.com. When you order online, you can choose 'pickup at store' and put 'parking lot pickup' in the comments.
Until further notice, all events and Story Times have been canceled. Please check back to see when events will restart.
Please stay safe and healthy, and we’ll be in touch with continued updates. Keep an eye on our bookstore page (booksq.com), our Facebook page (facebook.com/booksonthesquare) , Instagram page (@books_on_the_square), and our email newsletter for continued updates. Sign up for our newsletter here.
Jennifer Kandarian, Store Manager
Merc and Rod Clifton, Store Owners