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L.E. Phillips Library to being limited in-person appointments July 1st

These appointments will mark the first time the library has opened its doors to the public since closing on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 3:13 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -Beginning on Wednesday, July 1, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in downtown Eau Claire will begin offering limited in-person appointments for browsing and computer use. These appointments will mark the first time the library has opened its doors to the public since closing on March 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Library management considers this to be “phase one” as they take careful steps towards reopening the library.

The library has designed its In-Person Library Appointment procedure according to guidelines produced by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, which oversees public libraries. Safety restrictions for library facilities will be loosened or tightened as managers monitor weekly updates from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department.

Staff will schedule In-Person Library Appointments into three basic categories: browsing books and materials, adult-only computer/Internet use, and access for at-risk populations. See details below. Detailed information is available at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/covid.

Browsing Books and Other Materials: Customers may now call 715-839-5066 to schedule one-hour browsing appointments between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. A maximum of ten customers will be allowed to browse each hour. There is no minimum age requirement for making appointments. However, each member of a family/unit will be counted towards the ten person per hour limit.

Adult-Only Computer/Internet Use: Customers may call 715-839-5004 or email reference@eauclaire.lib.wi.us to schedule 75-minute computer appointments between 10:15 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. A maximum of five customers will be allowed per session. Computer stations have been relocated to accommodate social distancing.

Access for At-Risk Populations: Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk of severe illness related to COVID-19. The library will reserve appointments every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon for these customers. Customers may call 715-839-5066 to schedule these appointments.

During all In-Person Library Appointments, customers will wear a face mask or similar covering (disposable masks and face shields will be available if needed) and practice social distancing, maintaining a distance of six feet between other customers and staff. The service is intended only for people who show no signs of illness and have not been exposed to people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

People who simply need to pick up on-hold materials are encouraged to use the library’s popular drive thru-style pickup service. To meet demand, this service was expanded to quadruple its capacity in early June. Details are available at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/pickup-service.

In-Person Library Appointments are expected to be extremely popular. Between materials pickup, in-person browsing, and computer use, the library will serve up to 240 customers per day. This is 20% of the library’s average daily visits (appx. 1200) under normal conditions.

For more information, customers may contact Information & Reference by calling 715-839-5004, emailing librarian@eauclaire.lib.wi.us, or chatting with library staff at www.ecpubliclibrary.info/contact-the-library.

Copyright 2020 WEAU. All rights reserved.

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