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Fri, 29 Jan 2021 13:14:22 -0500
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Thank you for sharing this, Jennifer, 

I think think that vaccinating librarians is crucial for multiple
reasons. Well done MLA!


On 2021-01-29 13:08, Jennifer A. Alvino wrote:

> Hi All,
> The Maine Library Association has shared the following letter with the Maine CDC. In our role as advocates for libraries and library workers in Maine, we felt compelled to ensure our place in the vaccination plan was considered.
> Thanks,
> Jen
> Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention
> 286 Water Street, State House Station 11
> Augusta, ME 04333-0011
> Dr. Nirav Shah et al.,
> Libraries are essential. We ask you as you move forward in rolling out Phase 1b of the Maine COVID Vaccination Plan that you consider the vital services that Maine libraries provide to their communities. Librarians and library workers in public libraries and academic libraries should be included in Maine Phase 1b distribution plans to protect staff and minimize risk to patrons and users. School librarians are included in plans for the education community and should continue to be prioritized.
> Public and academic libraries perform regular and necessary "frontline services'' every day. Librarians promote early childhood literacy,  provide broadband access, in-person computer and technical assistance, help patrons create resumes and apply for jobs or even start small businesses, provide reliable health information, help patrons complete online government forms, connect college students with textbooks, promote information literacy to create more informed communities, libraries serve as pickup sites for free summer lunch programs. All this in addition to providing books and movies for entertainment.  For every dollar spent on Maine public libraries, the ROI for towns is $4.59 - librarians are essential to COVID recovery. This is evidenced by the addition of libraries to the Stafford Act--we provide important social services and information access that aid our country's citizens in recovering from major emergencies and disasters.
> Due to working so closely with  library patrons, library staff should be considered a high-risk group. Maine vaccination plans should consider both the nature of the work librarians do as well as the clear social and educational benefits that libraries contribute. Including librarians and library workers in the Phase 1b distribution plan will allow our sector to fully reopen public libraries to public service and campus libraries to all students while protecting staff and vulnerable populations. Waiting until Phase 2 to inoculate librarians and library workers will continue to expose Maine librarians on the front lines to unnecessary risk or keep libraries closed, delaying significant benefits to our society.
> As background:
> ●     "Librarians" were included among the Essential Workers who should be prioritized for vaccination in the July 2020 CDC AIPC Work Group report "COVID-19 vaccine prioritization Work Group considerations<>"
> ●     The December 22, 2020 CDC AIPC Interim Guidance<> does not specifically include "librarians" any longer in the definition of essential workers prioritized in either Phase 1b or Phase 1c of vaccine distribution.
> We want to ensure that public and academic library workers in communities where libraries plan to re-open to in-person services  or have already done so are eligible for vaccination in Phase 1b. The Maine Library Association board is available for further discussion on why libraries are essential and the impact libraries have on Maine communities, [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> Sincerely,
> Jennifer Alvino (President)                                           Wynter Giddings (Vice President)
> Sonya Durney (Legislative Chair)                                Alisia Revitt (Past-President)
> ~ On behalf of the Maine Library Association ~
> Jennifer A. Alvino, MLIS
> MLA President
> Library Director
> Windham Public Library
> 217 Windham Center Rd
> Windham, ME 04062
> Ph: 207-892-1908
> Fax:207-892-1915
> [log in to unmask]