Archived copies of all 2020 emails can be found on our Google Shared Drive - All-Lib Presentations and Documents.
MIT’s Pandemic Pay Policies will be in place through June 30, 2022, but will have incrementally changed effective today.
MIT originally provided all employees with up to 10 days paid sick leave due to Covid-19. That number was increased by an additional 40 hours to be in compliance with the Special Massachusetts Requirement. This additional 40 hour time bank was slated to expire as of 04/01/2022 and will not be extended.
You will still be able to access and use up to a total of 10 days of paid sick leave using ‘Sick Covid-19’ through June 30. Other pandemic pay policies remain the same and can be found here.
Please reach out to Lib-HR with any questions.
Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education, has asked all of us to share some clarifications about the MIT current policy on masks:
Departments, labs, and/or centers (DLCs) may not establish their own policies or requirements related to face coverings. The current policy applies to the entire Institute community and may not be modified at the local level. DLCs may post Institute-approved signage about mask wearing but may not create or post local, space-specific signage.
Individuals may not request or require that others wear masks. Please be respectful of other people’s choices about masks – regardless of whether you choose to wear a mask or choose not to wear one, be kind and understanding with people who make a choice different from yours. Please email any specific questions or concerns about the current policy to email@example.com.
The full policy can be found here: https://now.mit.edu/policies/updated-face-covering-policy/
In alignment with MIT policy, the Libraries have not and will not establish separate mask policies for our spaces or our staff, but will follow MIT policy that masks are optional. It is also important for all staff to abide by MIT’s policy that individuals may not request or require that others wear masks.
Chris on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
An Institute-wide message about changes to our existing COVID-19 policies is forthcoming, so I am writing to you all now with a “heads-up.”
There are several important updates in this message, so please take the time to read these details carefully, and feel free to ask questions if you have any.
MIT’s COVID-19 strategies are changing as we move to the next stage of the pandemic. Please refer to the attached slides for details (note that slides 1-14 focus on COVID and COVID policies, slides 15-21 summary MIT emergency preparedness response to potential infrastructure or cyber threats/disruptions).
With extremely high community vaccination and booster rates, combined with sharply declining COVID-19 positivity rates on campus, MIT plans to relax some COVID-19 restrictions (see now.mit.edu for all up-to-date policies) starting next week.
MIT leadership will continue to ‘follow the science’ and monitor public health data as they make decisions about our evolving approach.
Planned changes to MIT policies:
Effective March 14, here are some of the planned changes to MIT’s policies:
The section on testing in 3 Questions: New changes to MIT’s COVID-19 strategy includes a thorough explanation of this change, especially this:
“Only you know when your risk level has been elevated, so only you know when you should test. This change in policy doesn’t do away with testing; rather, it shifts the control of test timing to the individual.”
The Libraries’ food policy remains unchanged until further notice:
Food is now allowed at MIT events but there is no change to the current Libraries’ policy: eating will be allowed only in the Hayden Courtyard Cafe and on the porch. Beverages are permitted elsewhere. (Serving refreshments at events in The Nexus requires approval, and must follow MIT’s guidance for event planners.)
A note on Layers or “We still have our belt, suspenders optional”:
Many of us have found MIT’s multi-layered approach to COVID-19 reassuring.
The recent changes may feel disorienting and raise concerns. MIT has referred to our approach as a “belt and suspenders” strategy, and it is important to remember that the high vaccination and booster rates in our community represent a very effective ‘belt’ that we can continue to count on, even as the ‘suspenders’ of masks, asymptomatic attestations, and testing are now optional .
As things evolve and we move back to a semblance of “normal,” the Institute remains vigilant, and will continue to use data and metrics to guide decision making as it relates to COVID policies.
We acknowledge that there will be a range of reactions and opinions about MIT’s decisions, including some relief that we can relax some policies based on positive public health trends and indicators. There will likely also be some discomfort and nervousness as MIT modifies some of the policies that have been such a crucial part of our multi-layered approach to keeping COVID-19 positive rates low and minimizing campus spread.
In 3 Questions: New changes to MIT’s COVID-19 strategy, Cecilia Stuopis, Peko Hosoi, and Ian Waitz describe shifts in policy that aim for a gradual return to normalcy. To understand the rationale for recent MIT COVID-19 policy updates, and how the Institute is thinking about potential future changes, please give this a read.
Please also remember that while these practices have changed in response to encouraging data, the Institute will remain vigilant and responsive to changes in public health conditions, and will reinstate policies if conditions warrant.
A note on “Piggybacking”
Piggybacking refers to people following others into MIT spaces or buildings without having tapped their card to ensure they have access to that particular space. We are aware of some continued frustration and anxiety among staff who encounter piggybacking or attempted piggybacking behavior at MIT access points.
Library staff should always follow MIT policy and tap in to all COVID-pass access points when entering MIT buildings. While library staff should not actively facilitate piggybacking, staff should not feel obligated to actively enforce MIT access policies by engaging with others or forcing others to wait. We ask that you report incidents of piggybacking to the MIT hotline.
If an entrance is crowded, and/or you are uncomfortable using an entrance because of piggybacking or potential piggybacking, we encourage you to simply wait until the crowd thins, or to use a different access point.
One final note – we have all been living through a global pandemic for two years now, while also navigating and responding to a myriad of personal, local, national, and international losses and tragedies. This prolonged pressure and stress can take a heavy toll.
I encourage all of you to consider taking advantage of MIT MyLife Services, which provides access to a wide variety of resources, including many kinds of counseling services, child care referrals, sleep coaching, and much more; all with the goal of making life a little easier.
If you have any questions, please address them to your supervisor or to the Emergency Management Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your attention to this important message. We are grateful for everything each of you has done and continues to do to keep yourself and the community safe while doing great work for the libraries and for MIT.
All my best,
Hello MIT Libraries, and Happy Valentine’s day!
Gus wants to be your furry, four-legged valentine. You may already have a pet who is giving you the love and attention you deserve, but if you don’t (or need more - and who doesn’t these days), please know that this canine heartbreaker thinks you’re PAWSOME. ❤️🐾
Here is your brief review of the Emergency Management Team meeting from this morning where we reviewed and approved updates to Libraries Covid guidelines in alignment with updated Institute policies:
Have a great day, everyone!
Stephanie on behalf of the EMGMT Team
Good morning, everyone!
A newsy “heads-up” message this morning from the Libraries Emergency Management Team (EMGT), as MIT considers how to move forward with pandemic policies this spring. MIT is planning to make these announcements later this week, assuming the indicators that senior administrators are watching remain good.
At yesterday’s MIT Covid Management meeting, MIT administration shared that they are continuing to shift from an institutional “stop the spread” mindset, towards personal responsibility with a focus on avoidance of severe illness (see attached slides). Because of many positive indicators, we should expect the following policy changes:
Some important notes:
Review the attached slides for the full set of policy changes (as well as what is not changing). As usual, if you have questions, please talk to your manager!
Lisa, for the EMGT
This morning, Vice Chancellor Ian Waitz, along with the Chair of the Faculty and the Director of MIT Medical, shared current plans for Spring semester at MIT, which are:
These plans are based on all the available data, including very high vaccination and booster rates within our community. Nonetheless, contingency planning is ongoing, and every unit needs to have realistic plans in place, as the trajectory of the virus remains unpredictable.
Any changes to the in person plan for Spring will be announced by January 31. The slide deck from this morning’s call, which is chock full of details about general plans and data as well as specific info for instructional teams, is attached for those who are interested.
There will be more detailed, library-specific information coming out soon, but we wanted everyone to know MIT’s overall spring plan as soon as possible. Planning for a smooth restart of on-site operations is ongoing, and we will be sharing those plans next week.
Although there remains little evidence of significant on-campus transmission, the higher rates of infections make tracking exact transmission routes much more difficult. The most important and effective measures each of us can take to protect ourselves, our colleagues and the community are:
MIT will continue to provide masks at test drop-off locations, and is trying to adjust supplies to meet demand. The MIT Libraries has a limited supply of KF94/KN95 masks for staff working on campus, and is ordering more. We will be distributing the masks we have on hand to our various work locations today and early next week. Note that these masks are generally effective for up to 40 hours of wearing time, so you can safely use the same mask for several days.
We all know that the strain of dealing with Covid-19 for so long is having significant impacts on the mental health and wellbeing of our community. I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of the resources available through MIT MyLife Services.
Please continue to be kind, patient, and gentle with yourself and your colleagues as we all navigate this next phase of the ongoing pandemic.
Not sure about the rest of you but I am super excited to see snow tomorrow!
Message from Chris:
Today’s message includes loads of important information and context regarding MIT’s and the Libraries’ ongoing response to COVID-19 and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
As you know, positive case counts are at an all-time high at MIT and in the surrounding community, and throughout the nation. Thankfully, the vast majority of positive cases at MIT have been mild, and the current wave is expected to subside near the end of the month. Nonetheless these trends are worrisome, and continued organizational and personal vigilance is called for.
Organizationally, we need to ensure we (MIT and the Libraries) have updated and sustainable contingency plans in place, in the likely event that we will see much higher than usual staff absences due to illness, isolation, and quarantining. Within the Libraries, SRLT will be working with their leadership teams to review and update department-level contingency plans, in anticipation of potential staff shortages. In all cases, contingency plans will prioritize the health and well-being of staff. In certain cases, pausing work due to staff shortages, and notifying patrons and other stakeholders, will be the appropriate plan.
Updated info from MIT and Libraries EMGMT:
More information can be found here:
Please let us know if you have any questions, and have a great snowy day working remotely and enjoy the weekend!
On behalf of EMGMT
Happy New Year everybody!
Here’s hoping that everybody had a peaceful, restorative break from work.
Before digging into today’s updates, here’s a fun picture to start the week - photo credit here.
Relevant for everybody:
About our services:
Some things are still developing:
A huge shout out to all of the teams who have made this pivot possible over a very short period of time, and to everyone who continues to work to make our services as useful for the community as possible during IAP.
Felicity, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
The weather outside is yucky, if not frightful. So here’s your delightful daily message update from the EMGMT team.
We hope this message finds you getting ready to get some well-deserved rest during the Winter Break. Please unplug and may the only spice you receive be something along the lines of cinnamon and cloves or a rewatch of Dune in the comfort of your own couch surrounded by the animals and people you love.
Stephanie and Kim on behalf of
In response to the evolving public health situation, especially the rapid transmission of the Omicron variant, MIT has developed plans for a modified version of January IAP. These plans are designed to mitigate the impact and spread of Covid-19, especially the Omicron variant, while still supporting academic and business continuity for MIT.
While we can expect communication on MIT-wide changes soon, I want to share Libraries-specific plans with you now.
In broad strokes, our plans for Libraries services and spaces over January IAP, starting on January 3, 2022 are as follows:
We plan to update our website with this information as soon as possible, and all staff are welcome to share this information with MIT patrons. Signage will be posted at all Libraries locations.
Many more details will be forthcoming from MIT and from the Libraries’ leadership and management teams, but the most important messages right now are:
I remain hopeful that the modified IAP plans and the layers of mitigation strategies in place at MIT will keep all of us as safe and healthy as possible.
MIT is in contact with union representatives for our represented staff.
Thanks for your continued flexibility and vigilance. If you have any questions, please address them to your supervisor or to the Emergency Management Team at email@example.com.
Chris Bourg, PhD (she, her)
Director, MIT Libraries
Today’s weather may throw us off our winter stride, but MIT still looks forward to Winterfest 2021. If you haven’t been, it is when President Reif and Mrs. Reif invite you to enjoy a seasonal treat in a campus-wide celebration of winter.
I start with that because if you look at the attached slides from the 12/3 Covid-19 Response Call, you might think that MIT is having a blizzard …
Today’s message from the Emergency Management Team
The key drivers of transmissions are off-campus social engagements and COVID-positive family members.
Senior leadership on campus is very appreciative of people’s adhering to the indoor masking and no tailgating rules. Gentle encouragement can be used to enforce compliance (they agreed to do these things when they attest each day!), or you can always use the hotline to report a situation. Personally, today I saw four people enter building 14 in a row and every single person tapped in.
For the EMGT team
Here are the quick notes you need to know about today’s EMGMT meeting.
We discussed the following topics:
I hope you all have a great Monday, even with the time change!
This picture, taken by our own Courtney, reminds me that summer heat cannot last forever and beautiful fall colors and cooler temperatures are on the way.
There are two updates from the Emergency Management Team:
“If you’re feeling unwell — if you have an unexplained headache, a sniffle you know isn’t allergies, a fever, or a scratchy throat — stay home. Attest to your symptoms in Covid Pass and MIT Medical will follow up with you. Monitor your symptoms until you feel better… The situation with COVID-19 remains very fluid, and circumstances can change. We will continue to monitor community spread in the areas around MIT.”
The Libraries will adhere to this guidance for COVID and the upcoming flu season. Supervisors are strongly urged to work closely with their managers and associate directors regarding staff sick time if necessary. Should anyone have any questions or concerns, you are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, Maria for the Emergency Management Team
Greetings, folks of the MIT Libraries!
First up, a shoutout to all of my fellow Red Line riders… is there a name for us, collectively? Redliners? Alewives? The Patient Ones?
And now, on to the updates, gathered from several sources over the past week - woven throughout, you’ll find freshly-released data relating to COVID testing and vaccination rates on campus, answers to some common questions coming in from our teams, and some friendly community reminders for all of us who are spending time on campus. Read on for more...
Helpful data about campus-wide COVID vaccinations and testing:
Helpful reminders for all individuals working on campus:
Helpful reminders that are specific to the Libraries:
And, to close things out, some good news for all my fellow Alewives out there… herring populations (including the alewife) in the Mystic River are bouncing back, thanks to an extensive habitat restoration project: https://mysticriver.org/herring-monitoring. You can even contribute citizen science data at the Mystic Herring Website!
Heather, on behalf of the Libraries’ Emergency Management Team
The Emergency Management Team (EMGMT) has two quick informational updates to share:
You may recall from the July 12th COVID-19 update that MIT has made some changes to the travel policy for this phase of response to the pandemic, allowing for most MIT-related travel for vaccinated individuals or those who have received a medical or religious exemption. We wanted to share that the senior leadership team (SRLT) is determining what Libraries-specific guidance we need to have in place for the coming semester given that we are in the process of reviewing an updated professional development policy and are continuing negotiations with the union. More to come.
Also, FYI, the R&L Leadership Team (RLL) is in the process of determining what the Libraries’ services portfolio for spaces, collections, and electronic services will be for the fall taking into account Covidpass, Libraries’ hours and new tools such as Primo. More to come on that as well.
All the best,
Tracy, on behalf of EMGMT
You should have received an email today from the Institute outlining several policy changes regarding COVID protocols. While it feels like a lot of change is happening very quickly, MIT continues to be more conservative than the Commonwealth or Cambridge in rolling back restrictions.
These new policies are possible because of the extremely high vaccination rate in the MIT community. This is good news.
There is a lot of information to absorb in today’s email, so we wanted to highlight a few items and put them in context of the Libraries’ work.
Some key changes
Libraries policies: What’s not changing
Support for navigating change
A lot of things are changing quickly, and we’re all having to get used to evolving norms in all facets of our lives. We encourage everyone to extend a little grace to one another as we each navigate our own anxieties -- or excitement -- about loosening restrictions. The Institute also offers resources for self-care and coping through MyLife Services (click Get Started and then Covid-19 Resource Page). If you would like to take advantage of these offerings, please speak with your manager about fitting them into your schedule.
Brigham, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
I hope you had a lovely weekend. It was my first being fully vaccinated, so I was able to visit my 16-month old goddaughter, who is in the important developmental phase of handing you stuff and walking away, only to ask for the item hours later like a tiny Miranda Priestly. It was strange seeing close friends in person for the first time in a year, feeling like both nothing and everything had changed, and now there’s this new little human whose crayons I have to hold for an indeterminate amount of time. It’s been a year + of incredible stress and grief, but as we ease back out into the world knowing it won’t be the same as before, it feels amazing to actually have these reunions (and introductions) we’ve been envisioning for so long.
MIT has been busy with summer and fall planning. There’s a lot of information to digest, so please feel free to contact anyone on the emergency management team with questions. As a reminder, Associate Provost Krystyn Van Vliet will present at our all staff meeting on Thursday (2pm). You can submit questions for her here.
We’ve sorted guidance and updates by date, but it is important to note that through the end of the summer, the Libraries will remain closed to patrons. We will be taking a slow and deliberate approach to re-populating both our staff and patron areas.
Happening as of June 1st
Happening as of June 7th
Masking is still required indoors except for in private offices with the door closed and while eating/drinking. These guidelines may become more or less restrictive based on trends in MIT vaccination status and local and community infection rates. SRLT will be discussing how these changes may or may not affect our on-campus operations.
Happening as of July 1st
Possibilities for Fall
Per President Reif’s March 12th message, MIT is planning on “dialing up” during the summer so we can be as fully operational for the fall as possible. We still expect September 7th to be the date where all staff will be required to return to campus. However, we will be following the guidance from the Work Succeeding efforts to define how to manage remote work options.
Though additional details are still being worked out, MIT anticipates continuing Covid testing through the fall at least to monitor campus health. MIT continues to monitor data around vaccine boosters, and will share any available information to the community.
Even if masking requirements drop in the fall, community members are encouraged to mask according to their comfort levels. You will never find me on the orange line not wearing a mask ever again. (Ask me about the time I was forced to aspirate a stranger’s dandruff on an over-crowded train at Downtown Crossing on my way to work.)
General CDC Guidance and Relevant Statistics
For More Information on MA/Cambridge/CDC guidance
Massachusetts press release re: lifting all restrictions May 29th:
Massachusetts new mask requirements:
Cambridge press release re: following the Commonwealth:
MIT Vaccine Statistics
Greetings from the Imperial Archives,
In celebration of the galactic “May 4th” holiday tomorrow, I would be remiss in not taking this opportunity to plug some Lewis Music Library resources. Through our popular streaming media database Naxos Music, we have access to selections from the soundtrack to the Star Wars movies, covering all 9 installments!
You can listen here! (note: must be logged into VPN first or authenticated if off campus)
Now on to other business, here are the major topics discussed at this morning’s Library EMT meeting:
Please treat your own and your colleagues Covid vaccination information as the private medical information that it is. Our only obligation is to report our vaccination status via the secure Covid Vaccine App, so that MIT will have an accurate picture of community vaccination rates, and can therefore make future policy decisions based on this information.
As always, please see now.mit.edu for the latest information on how the MIT community is responding to the ongoing Covid pandemic.
Other relevant links:
04/27 White House COVID-19 Task Force briefing:
04/27 MA Plans for continued reopening:
04/29 City of Cambridge moves to Phase IV:
Hi Library Folks,
Happy Monday, I hope everyone enjoyed their abbreviated week last week. I certainly enjoyed being outside on our days off. It was also nice not to zoom all day, but the work continued, and the classes on campus were in full swing.
Today’s meeting was short on topics but those topics were big and the team reoriented ourselves around these topics. Here are the notes:
Beverly, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
We wanted to share some updates from the Emergency Management Team meeting this morning.
Please review the attached PPT presentations that share information about new COVID 19 Testing and Spring and Summer
Steve Stowe on Behalf of the EMT
This morning Kim brightened our day with a picture of the Easter basket mylar strips that her niece used in Kim’s doorway. Anything for a smile nowadays! (picture not included here)
We also congratulated Stanford on their big win. (No one said anything about trying to get on the good side of a certain Stanford fan!)
Today’s meeting was short, with a reminder from Steve Stowe that as the weather gets nice, spring break is around the corner for school kids, and our own mental health day gives us all a long weekend, here’s a reminder of the travel policy:
Full details are available at https://now.mit.edu/policies/mit-travel-policy/.
With lots of spring warmth,
Lisa, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
The Emergency Team met today and discussed the following details for staff regarding the upcoming summer months:
*Special note related to online conference/webinar/seminars: Anyone planning to attend an approved online conference, webinar, and/or seminar should register via their local Administrative Assistant. Please give the Admin Team enough time to assist you as they are managing multiple simultaneous requests.
As we are (hopefully!) coming towards the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic, I've been reflecting on some of the more unusual thoughts I had at the onset of the crisis.
Oddly enough, I thought about foraging for food when it was difficult to get items like toilet paper, paper towels, cereal, and canned soup. I have never foraged food in my life, although I planned to forage Oregon truffles with some partner-dogs last year if it were not for the pandemic.
Yet foraging as an epicurean pursuit is not the same as living off the land in my mind.
Why I felt like I needed that life skill during the pandemic is beyond me. I guess it was my stress mechanisms kicking in. So like a good librarian, I started information seeking.
I learned of foraging communities and how I wasn't alone in thinking about how to forage well.
I also started following a popular forager on TikTok and Instagram who is based in Columbus, Ohio. She does pretty creative things with many items found in parks and on recreational trails. Given some of the ugliness we've seen covered in the press about some Black people being harassed while out enjoying nature, I really appreciate her work and her general joyfulness.
I haven't taken this practice up today, and my close friends find my latest interest pretty laughable. I'm known for "foraging" wine and cheese, not wild onions and tree sap! I don't know if I'll ever pursue it, but it was a fun diversion to learn about foraging during this tough time. Do be careful if you decide to take on foraging so that you don't accidentally digest poisonous items. Consult food and botany experts for assistance.
Alexia, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
I hugged my 82 year old mother yesterday for the first time in over a year. She is fully vaccinated, we both wore masks, and there were tears before she told me to let go because she had had enough and wanted to carry on with other things. We both backed away and burst out laughing because this is exactly who she is: a bit emotional but not at all sentimental. In general, this reflects my own thoughts as we inch into spring and I have all kinds of emotions but want to forge ahead.
President Reif sent an email last week about using a dial, not a switch, to plan for campus in the fall with an emphasis on supporting a rich residential experience for students. This will not be a linear process because sometimes the dial will move backward based on the changing community health environment. He also announced the “Work Succeeding” cross-Institute planning team led by VP for Human Resources Ramona Allen, VP for Campus Services and Stewardship Joe Higgins, and Associate Provost Krystyn Van Vliet that will assess how various hybrid approaches to work life could play out for MIT staff.
Both of these updates have an impact on the Libraries. As a first step, the Libraries has decided not to ramp up any additional on campus services before the end of May.
If you are currently 100% working remotely, you will continue to be remote at least until the end of May. If you are splitting your time between campus and remote work, you will continue to split your time between campus and remote work at least until the end of May.
The Libraries will use the spring to evaluate what on-campus services have to be in place to support plans for the fall and then make implementation plans over the summer. We encourage staff and managers to start having conversations about work-related and individual factors that may impact future scheduling and work locations. It’s too early to put any definitive plans in place but it’s not too early to discuss the options.
We encourage you to take a few minutes to complete the voluntary community pulse survey that was sent to all staff this morning from the MIT Council on Family and Work. It’s the 5th survey and the results are used to respond to community needs during this time.
The emails from the Emergency Management Team are on the LibGuides site but this particular page is out of room. The emails will be transferred to a different format for storage but still accessible from this same link.
Sue, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
Good Morning Everyone,
Just a few quick updates and a reminder in the message today.
Maria for the Emergency Management Team
Greetings, MIT Libraries!
I’m writing on behalf of the Libraries Emergency Management Team this morning - before we get down to business (and in the spirit of our Emergency Management Team emails), I’ll start things off with a picture of our little kitty Pita taking a break from her various cat jobs to watch this weekend’s snowfall with great wonder and curiosity [Image was too large to put in the libguide]
And now, the aforementioned business!
Thank you all, and stay warm,
Welcome to the last week of January 2021. I hope everyone had a chance to rest over the weekend. Today’s message is brief, so this red panda says let’s jump right in.
-> International Research, Politics, and Bias. The Emergency Management Team wanted to reiterate President Reif’s message from last week:
[T]o our Chinese and Chinese American community – our undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, scholars, researchers, staff, faculty, alumni and Corporation members of Chinese descent:... you are essential and integral members of our MIT community. We value your contributions as students, colleagues, teachers, innovators and leaders, and we value you personally as friends – just as we value every member of the global family of MIT, including Professor Chen and his family.
For anyone interested in engaging more deeply in the intersection of international research, politics, and bias, Professor of Physics Xiaoxing Xi of Temple University will speak today at 4:30 PM (Zoom link, password 140608) at the Harvard University Department of Physics Colloquium “Scientific espionage, open exchange, and American competitiveness” (thanks to Ye Li for sharing this).
-> Students are coming back to campus soon. You can find Chancellor Cynthia Barnhardt’s letter to graduate and undergraduate students here; it covers move-in timing and spring semester remote and in-person classes, as well as details about the mail-out test kits and an information session.
-> The LDMC (Libraries departmental monitoring committee) provided a brief update on its work. A detailed message to the whole organization is coming soon, but some highlights are:
-> Face Coverings / Masks: There has not been any official new guidance from the CDC, the Commonwealth, or MIT on whether or not double masking is recommended with the new variant of COVID (B.1.1.7) present in Massachusetts. At the writing of this email, double masking is not required by the Institute; however Maria will check with all area managers to make sure sufficient PPE are available for anyone wishing to double mask while at work. As new information and guidance is available from federal, state, and local authorities, including MIT Medical, we will provide an update to all library staff.
Sincere wishes for the best week we can have,
Felicity, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team
Happy New Year everybody! I hope that everybody had a peaceful, restorative break from work. I know that I’m not alone in being happy that 2020 is behind us!
We have a flurry of updates about testing, vaccines, and space guidelines to share with all.
Relevant for everybody:
For folks who work regularly on campus:
“Those who live off-campus and are Covid Pass users (employees, students, or affiliates) and who have traveled outside Massachusetts and those who have not traveled but socialized outside of their household should plan to work remotely (if they are able), quarantine for seven days, and test on the seventh day. Ideally, they should continue to work remotely until a negative result is received. Employees who cannot work remotely will report to work but should follow safety protocols (masks, social distancing, and good hygiene); remain vigilant for symptoms; and stick to their testing cadence.”
If you have any questions about testing and timing for your specific schedule, please be in touch with your supervisor to work out details.
As of December 26th, the Commonwealth has mandated that occupancy of shared office spaces must not exceed 25 percent of capacity, measured by a building's occupancy limit. Occupancy must also not exceed five persons per 1,000 square feet of office space. These measures went into effect this Saturday, Dec. 26, and will remain in effect until noon on Sunday, Jan. 10.
While we are confident that our current on-campus plans are fully compliant with the new rules, the Libraries Department Monitoring Committee (LDMC) will review all of our space layouts for those who are working on campus to ensure that we meet the new guidelines. In addition we will be working with the Hayden renovation crews to ensure that they are mindful and following the new limits as well.
All the best,
Tracy, on behalf of the Emergency Management Team