LIBRARY IMPLEMENTATION OF CAMPUS CLOSING POLICY
The following is the Library implementation of the campus policy on Employee Designations under Campus Emergency Situations, as articulated initially in a 1 December 1994 memorandum and periodically reissued as "Inclement Weather/Emergency Closing Policy" on campus web pages: http://www.umbc.edu/facultystaff/snowpolicy.html
WHEN THE CAMPUS IS CLOSED:
The Library closes on the same schedule as the campus. However, when the campus is open, even if classes are canceled, the Library is open for its regularly scheduled hours.
APPROPRIATE LEVEL OF OPERATION / CRITICAL EMPLOYEES:
Since the Kuhn Library provides critical services to the campus, the Library will keep its regular hours when classes are canceled but the campus remains open. Library employees are designated as critical on the days they are scheduled to work during the month(s) specified in the Library's critical employee rotation roster to be revised and issued by the Director of the Library or designee as needed [see Appendix C]. All other Library employees may on such occasions use compensatory, annual or personal leave under the campus liberal leave policy, with proper notification of supervisors.
Any Library employee who anticipates a systematic inability to get to work on days in which classes are cancelled but the campus is open may request in writing to the appropriate unit head an exception to her or his critical employee status. Reasons for which such exceptions may be granted include but are not limited to: physical disability, history of uncleared streets in neighborhood, etc. Exceptions are recommended to the Director by Unit Heads. Those who have exceptions granted will be required to take annual or personal leave when they do not report to work due to weather conditions (see following section).
CRITICAL EMPLOYEES UNABLE TO REACH WORK:
Critical employees may be unable to reach work despite their best efforts. No employee is required to take unreasonable risks in order to attend work nor are they to be penalized when they cannot attend due to mechanical failures of their transportation, blocked roads, etc. However, employees in such situations are required to notify their units of their inability to attend, using the procedures established by the units. Also, they will be required to take personal or annual leave.
Employees are required to save and carry sufficient annual or personal leave balances to cover such situations. Leave taken beyond leave balances under inclement weather conditions will be unapproved leave without pay and may be subject to disciplinary action.
COMMUNICATIONS UNDER INCLEMENT WEATHER CONDITIONS:
Each Library Unit is charged to develop communication methods within the unit, for dealing with inclement weather conditions. Unit Heads should notify the Director of all developments and actions taken under emergency conditions.
CLOSING THE LIBRARY WHEN THE CAMPUS HAS NOT BEEN CLOSED:
The Library may be closed by the Director or the Director's designee when any of the following conditions apply:
- The campus is being closed after having been open earlier that day: In this case, the ranking Library employee on the premises is the Director's designee and will close the Library on the same schedule as the campus.
- Significant safety problems have been identified, with the building or the paths of egress from the building: For example, if the fire exits to any part of the building are blocked or the sidewalks to them are not cleared, that part of the building will be closed. If there is insufficient space in the building for staff to congregate while fire exits and paths to them are being cleared, staff will be sent home and given administrative leave.
- Sufficient staffing is not available to safely run the building (the minimum number is two employees, at least one of which is a permanent employee).
- It appears to the Director or the Director's designee that the campus officials are not available to close the campus when conditions warrant.
Student employees are required to report to work as usual when the library is open.
MINIMUM STAFFING TO OPEN:
When a unit within the Library is insufficiently staffed, it shall close even if the building remains open. The building itself shall close when fewer than two staff members, one of which is a permanent employee, remain. It is possible to keep the building open as a study hall even when there are insufficient trained staff to charge out books at the Circulation desk.
PROCEDURES FOR CLOSING THE BUILDING:
Closing the building is managed by the ranking present employee, upon learning of campus closing. Also, this employee may close when other staff have requested leave for the remainder of their shifts for safety reasons; in this situation, only the last two employees present, i.e. those who close, will be granted administrative leave for the remainder of their shifts (note that student employees do not qualify for administrative leave in such situations). In order to close the building under any other circumstances, the ranking present employee, if not a Unit Head, must obtain approval from a Unit Head by calling in this order: Director, Serials Librarian, Collection Management Librarian, Chief Curator, Head of LITS, Head of Technical Services, Business Manager, other unit heads. For other major library-wide decisions that need immediate attention, contact the Director or a unit head in the order listed here.
The "ranking present employee" shall be defined as follows: among the Library employees on campus -- first, the Unit Heads in the order given above; then, other Library faculty in seniority order; then, classified staff in order of classification as follows:
Library Tech III - Library Tech I, Security Officers/Account Clerks/Secretaries, Library Assistant -- and between staff with the same classifications, by seniority.
Each unit is responsible for establishing any closing procedures unique to that unit, consistent with the procedures outlined here.
GRANTING LEAVE WHEN THE BUILDING IS CLOSED:
Any staff member eligible for paid leave who has reported to work when the building was open is granted administrative leave with pay if the building is subsequently closed during his or her shift. (Hourly staff and student assistants are not eligible for paid leave). If the building is closed prior to the start of one's shift, administrative leave with pay is provided. However, those who were scheduled to work but failed to attend by the time the building is closed must take personal or annual leave for their scheduled work hours.
references: M. Behm memo 12/1/94 conveying UMBC policy
L. Wilt memo 05/08/95 conveying rotation policy
guideline issued 12/19/94
guideline revised to reflect rotation 05/08/95
revised to reflect new USM classifications, ranks 7/01
edited 9/13/06 LW; edited 2/19/09 per LEC