In a press release today the L. E. Phillips Memorial Library in Eau Claire announced that they will be closing temporarily due to COVID-19 concerns. This includes all in-person library activities including holds, pickup, and browsing. The library expects the closure to last at least until Nov. 30, at which time the library leadership will re-examine the status of the community and the public health data to decide if it is safe to open the library again. 

In a tweet late on Sunday night the Altoona library also announced that they will be closed until Nov. 30 -

https://twitter.com/AltoonaPL/status/1328198659574538240

Further information from the Eau Claire library:

The Closure Stems from Multiple Concerns

  1. There has been recent COVID exposure within library. In other words, individuals who have been within the library building have since tested positive for COVID-19.
  2. Eau Claire County is suffering some of the highest infection rates in the country, and local hospitals are at capacity in terms of staff and space available to deal with the surge.
  3. Library leadership has identified a need to reinforce public safety precautions within the building such as facial masks and sufficient social distancing. Methods to better enforce these procedures are in development.

In-Person Services Paused

  • All In-Person Library Appointments (for browsing and computer use) are cancelled. Scheduling will resume when the library reopens.
  • All holds pickup methods (including the “Park & Pickup” self-service option and in-building pickup) are paused. Pickup will resume when the library reopens.
  • Current on-hold materials will be held until the library reopens.
  • All library drop boxes, including those placed throughout the City of Eau Claire, are closed until the library reopens.
  • Library customers are asked to keep their materials at home, and due dates are indefinitely extended.
  • Our “Curb Hunger” free grocery pickup service is also suspended. We recommend individuals utilize this guide to fulfill their food needs, or contact out Community Resource Specialist at libbyr@eauclaire.lib.wi.us or 715-839-5061.

During the closure, library staff will be working remotely to maintain references services, digital offerings, and more. Library leadership will use the following weeks to assess and adapt current safety procedures.

Digital Services Still Available

Customers are strongly encouraged to access the library’s numerous online offerings such as e-books, audiobooks, movie, and music downloads; online storytimes and other virtual programs; digital research archives; reference services; and more. These services can be accessed through the library’s website and Facebook page.

Questions?

People can get personal help from library reference staff over the phone (715-839-5004), via email (reference@eauclaire.lib.wi.us), and through online chat. Staff are working remotely, but customers may leave a voicemail message for assistance. Our Youth Services staff can be contacted at ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us or 715-839-5007.

More information, including hours and specific department numbers can be found here.

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Steve Hanson
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Steve is a web designer and recently retired from running the hosting and development company Cruiskeen Consulting LLC. Cruiskeen Consulting LLC is the parent company of Wis.Community, and publication of this site continues after his retirement.

Steve is a member of LION Publishers and the Local Media Consortium, is active in Health Dunn Right, and is vice-president of the League of Women Voters of the greater Chippewa Valley

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