An important update for all of us at the LA County Library



Our SEIU 721 Library Stewards Council met with the LA County Library Department during a Joint Labor Management (JLM) Meeting to discuss reopening plans.

Our April 7 meeting has been the ONLY official meeting between our Union and the Department. Any allusion to other recent meetings between us are incorrect.

Below are the main points coming out of our JLM Meeting:

  • While there is no current plan to lay off part-time staff, the Department does acknowledge that – depending on the continuing fiscal health of the Department – lay-offs of part-time staff MAY be necessary in the future. Our union has NOT approved ANY plan to lay off ANY LA County Library staff.
  • Patrons and employees will be REQUIRED to wear face coverings (masks). If an employee or patron cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, they will be required to wear a face shield that includes coverage of the neck.
  • During this beginning phase of reopening, the library will be operating at 50% capacity.
  • The SenSource thermal counters located in each library have had their software updated to keep track of library capacity. The ongoing capacity will be displayed so that it will be visible to patrons and staff.
  • Homework Center areas will be available but in a self-service capacity. Staff can provide materials to patrons but will not be providing one-on-one learning assistance.
  • With regard to security, the Department will have one Sergeant and four roving Deputies. Our Union voiced concern that this may not be sufficient to deal with the security needs of the libraries.
  • Social distancing will be enforced, including in seating areas.
  • Department Safety Officer Ed Ramos will be visiting each location to ensure it is in compliance with guidelines set by the LA County Department of Public Health (DPH).
  • The expectation will be that patrons will do the pre- and post-cleaning of the high-touch areas that they use.
  • Staff will be expected to maintain supplies in the bathrooms but are not expected to clean the bathrooms – which is work that will be done by a contracted custodial company.
  • Open libraries will be receiving shipments twice per week.
  • Additional cleaning will be scheduled through the aforementioned contracted custodial company.
  • The Department will be providing staff with an FAQ containing details on the reopening.
  • Our Union suggested that the Department review the rules on Customer Expectations – and that a statement should be added about patrons following DPH rules and guidelines.
  • DPH will be providing the Department with additional signage for the public.
  • The Department is encouraging employees to respond to the Department’s survey on COVID-19 vaccinations. The goal is to have the majority of employees vaccinated.
  • According to DPH guidelines, employees can be required to inform the Department of their vaccination status so long as no other HIPPA-protected information is conveyed at the same time.
  • Our Union voiced concerns with the nationwide increase in anti-Asian bigotry and violence – and we expressed how want to ensure that the Department remains a safe space for both employees and patrons.
  • The Department is currently operating under a deficit of approximately $10 million. The $10 million approximately equals the cost of employing about 300 people. That is what was communicated at the LA County Library Staff Training Day. That DOES NOT mean that 300 employees will be immediately laid off.

If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to contact our SEIU 721 Member Connection at (877) 721-4YOU or you may email for more information.

In the meantime, stay connected with our Union for future updates on contract bargaining and other important matters. Together, we win!

Categories: Los Angeles County
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Thank you, SEIU721 !!