Emergency Closing Policy

In the event of an unexpected closing the following steps are to be taken. 
Notice of tornado watches or warnings are received over our Allegan County Emergency notification radio/scanner.  In the case of tornado watches, business will proceed as usual.  If a tornado warning is issued, the Library will be closed for normal business (front door will not be locked) until an all clear is received from the local authorities.  Library patrons in the building will be allowed to remain until the all clear is sounded.  Unattended minors will be asked to stay in the building until a guardian picks them up or until the all clear is sounded.
Adverse Weather / Equipment Failure
The Library is a public service institution, and every effort is made to maintain regular hours for the public.  The Library will be closed only when weather conditions deteriorate to the point where emergency situations prevail, when vital equipment in the building fails (e.g., furnace malfunction, no water in the building, no electricity, etc.) or when there is a general emergency within the Otsego area.  The decision to close the Library will be based upon:
  • General conditions of roads in the Otsego area.
  • Condition of the Library's parking lot and walkways.
  • Availability of staff to open and operate the Library.  Minimal staffing levels are defined as a minimum of at least two clerks.  The Library can operate with a reduced staff when the number of patrons is expected to be abnormally low.
  • Condition of the building's equipment.
  • Requests for closure by local, county or state law enforcement agencies.
The Library will not automatically close or delay opening, based on any other institution's actions.  The decision to close will be made by the Library Director.  If the Library Director is unavailable, the senior librarian on staff will make the decision after conferring with a board member.  Once the decision to close or to open late is made, the Director will notify the staff.
  • Employees may be requested to report to work or remain at work even if the library is closed to the general public.  If the library remains open to the public during inclement weather, employees are expected to work their regular hours.  Staff members are expected to leave home early enough to compensate for poor weather conditions so that they may reach work at their scheduled time. 
  • If the Library is closed due to emergency conditions, employees regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more a week will be paid for their scheduled hours. Hourly employees who are absent due to scheduled day off, vacation time, holiday time; illness or other leave will not receive pay for the time the Library is closed.
  • Employees at the Library when it is closed will be paid for the remainder of their time period for that day.
  • If the Library is closed two or more days due to fire, tornado or other unplanned lengthy closings, employees regularly scheduled to work more than 20 hours a week will continue to receive pay for two weeks.  An improvised interim work schedule may be developed to handle existent work needs.  Job descriptions or duties may be temporarily altered or reassigned, based upon unusual need.  A reasonable effort will be made to maintain a useful work schedule and provide continuous employment opportunities.