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Safety and Cleaning Procedures



  • person cleaning computer screen

Idea Exchange | September 1, 2021

Idea Exchange has examined all of our internal and external procedures to ensure that we are doing everything possible to stop the spread of COVID-19 on our materials and in our spaces. We are opening using a phased approach which allows us to work out additional cleaning protocols as each service is reintroduced. 


As of June 11, 2021, the provincial government has removed the COVID-19 regulation that library materials must be quarantined when returned.

This change means that you won’t have to wait as long for library materials and items will be checked in off your account with no extra delay.

Idea Exchange continues to evolve and adjust our procedures as new information comes to light around COVID-19 and public health measures change and are updated. We closely monitor the developments related to COVID-19 and we continue to use an evidence-based approach to inform decisions around the relaunch of our services and safety protocols for staff and public. Based on new evidence, the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus through inanimate surfaces such as library materials is very unlikely.


We continue to make contact free Pick-up Service available at all locations, providing members with the opportunity to pick-up their holds without entering a public space.


During In-Person Service, members will be allowed inside Idea Exchange buildings. We have implemented the following health and safety measures:

  • Limiting our visitor capacity and practising 2-metre physical distancing at all times.
  • Providing hand sanitizer and requiring visitors use it upon entrance.
  • Having staff and visitors follow Region of Waterloo’s mandatory Face Covering By-law.
  • Asking visitors to practicing good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette throughout their visit.
  • Using acrylic protective shields at all staff service points.
  • Continuing contact free Pick-up Service at all locations.
  • Enhancing our cleaning protocols, including regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and equipment.
  • Not allowing food or spillable drinks.

The maximum number of members allowed inside each location at a time is posted at the front entrance. Staff may ask you to wait outside until other members exit the building.

Stay home if you have any cold or flu-like symptoms, or have been told to self-isolate due to your potential exposure to COVID-19 or international travel. Thank you for keeping staff and members safe.

Please follow all posted instructions and refer to the Code of Conduct for our full policy on visiting Idea Exchange locations.


The same thorough cleaning of our buildings will continue with added attention to high-touch areas such as handrails, door knobs, and buttons. Staff are also being trained on all proper cleaning protocols. Procedures are in place to ensure that equipment is cleaned using approved disinfectant sprays and wipes between uses.

Staff will sanitize computer stations between reservations and all other digital equipment will be regularly sanitized. 

Staff have been trained on proper hand-washing techniques as well as the safe removal of gloves and surgical masks for tasks that require these safety options.


Submitted by hele montagna (not verified) on

Question. Will the librarians be wearing gloves while shelving, and when selecting materials to be put on hold? Thanks! So glad you've reopened.

Submitted by Caitlyn (Staff) (not verified) on

That's a great question. We are taking precautions to ensure that library materials are safe for borrowing. Library Staff are wearing face masks at all times and wash/sanitize their hands between tasks. Gloves can become contaminated and require frequent replacement, so we are focusing on continuous hand washing. We also encourage everyone to leave their borrowed items untouched for your own quarantine period before using them. Due dates have been extended and there are no overdue fines until further notice, ensuring that you can enjoy your items for the full loan period.