Announcements

Library Closure

Public Library to Remain Closed through June

[5-19-20] While state lawmakers have ended Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire plans to remain closed through the end of June.

“We will continue to discuss reopening procedures with officials at the State Library Division and with local health experts, and we will monitor the scientific data related to the COVID-19 health crisis in order to reduce community spread and to protect the health of staff and the community,” says Library Director Pamela Westby. She continues, “Even with statewide guidelines and best practices for public libraries well into the planning stages, we estimate it will take at least six weeks to implement the suggested procedural changes, acquire the proper protective equipment, and meet the gating criteria to support opening the facility to the public.”

Westby notes the library typically sees about 1,200 visitors per day, and serves some of the community’s most vulnerable populations.

Library Board President Bob Eierman, a retired UW-Eau Claire Chemistry professor, says, “We feel it is essential to ensure that the decision to reopen the library is guided by science and data, supported by local and state health officials, and the library is able to follow public health guidelines.”

We will continue to offer holds and pickup service for books and other materials. Learn more here: www.ecpubliclibrary.info/pickup-service

We’re also providing informational assistance via phone, email, and online chat. You can 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.

Other special library services include:

• 24/7 connectivity to high speed internet through an expanded WiFi network available from the library’s outdoor seating area near its Eau Claire Street entrance.

• Access to community resources to help families and individuals coping with isolation, unemployment, and more—especially during this global crisis—through food delivery, craft bags, and a helpline staffed by the library’s Community Resource Specialist. More here: www.ecpubliclibrary.info/community-resource-services

• Multiple weekly virtual storytimes and other family programming produced by Youth Services staff via the library’s website, social media, and YouTube channel.

We greatly appreciate your support and patience as we work to ensure safe and convenient operating procedures!

Library Pickup Service

Library Pickup Service is now available. Learn about placing holds, scheduling pickup times, picking up your materials, and dropping them off here: www.ecpubliclibrary.info/pickup-service

[UPDATE 6-1-20] We’re increasing our pickup capacity, using two lanes and four pickup stations, plus Saturday pickup, as of June 1. Questions? Call our wait list direct line at 715-839-5066. Thanks for your patience and support!

Online & Digital Services

The library is still here. Keep doing what you love…at home.

We know your life has changed. You’re staying at home and learning new ways to interact with the world—at a safe distance. But the library is here for you. We want you to have something familiar. We want to make sure you can keep doing some of the most important things in your life.

Scroll down for Frequently Asked Questions.

Keep Reading, Listening, & Watching

We now offer enhanced access to our digital media services. We’re expanding the quantity and availability of e-books and other media. Adding to the already free access provided by those services, you can now enjoy unprecedented access. Learn more: www.ecpubliclibrary.info/digital 

→ Don’t have a library card? Know someone who needs one? Sign up for an “e-card” without leaving home! An e-card grants access to all digital services provided by the MORE consortium libraries. Learn more: www.more.lib.wi.us/selfreg

And hey—need something new to read? Check out Personalized Reading Suggestions.

Keep Asking Questions

You can now get personal help from your library’s Virtual Reference Desk over the phone, via email, or online chat: 

• Online Chat (Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–5 p.m.): Click here
• General questions: 715-839-5004 • reference@eauclaire.lib.wi.us
• Youth Services: 715-839-5007 • ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us
• Account-related questions: 715-839-5003 • circstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us
• Critical Resources (food, shelter, mental health, etc.): 715-839-5061 • libbyr@eauclaire.lib.wi.us

Note: For the security of library staff, your call will be returned from an “unknown” number. For email, if you have spam-blocking software in place, you may need to disable it.

Keep Up-to-Date

We’re sifting through the local media haystack to provide you with easy access to the most recent, accurate news and information about COVID-19 and how it affects our lives. Keep an eye on our website right here, social media feeds (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and your email inbox for updates!

Keep Connecting with the Community

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be working hard to keep you connected with our community, providing info on things like the census (more here), and health department updates.

The library is also a partner and supporter of Volume One’s Pulling Together While Staying Apart initiative. Volume One has relaunched its website at VolumeOne.org to include updates on local services and closures; handy resources for those in need; and articles, essays, and videos to help us stay connected. They’ve also launched a new site to help support area restaurants through takeout and gift cards.

Keep Active

Join us for virtual programs and activities to help you and your family beat cabin-fever! Just check out our Facebook page in the mornings and afternoons for new stuff every day. Such as…

Our Youth Services staff is offering a number of online programs for kids at home. On Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. you can enjoy “Baby Storytime LIVE” on the library’s Facebook page. Also on Facebook, you’ll see new family storytime videos on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. You can also find archived storytime videos on the library’s YouTube channel and starting soon on our Youth Services website.

We encourage adults to visit our Dabble Box makerspace homepage for access to great DIY projects.

We’re all in this together, and we’d appreciate your support in spreading the word about our expanded services. Thanks!

Closure FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my items are due? Will I accrue any fees?

The due dates for all checked-out circulating materials will be extended until the library reopens. Check your account for details. L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library is fine free so no fines will be accrued.

Can I still place holds?

Yes. To learn about placing holds and scheduling materials pickup, go here: www.ecpubliclibrary.info/pickup-service

Can I drop off my materials in outdoor book drops?

Library drop boxes around the city of Eau Claire are now open on an alternating schedule. Please follow special instructions posted on each box. Use open boxes for drop off. Closed boxes will remain in quarantine for at least 72 hours before we can retrieve the materials inside. All due dates are extended until the library reopens.

My library card is about to expire. How can I renew?

All accounts nearing their expiration dates have been extended. Call 715-839-5003 or email circstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us to learn more.

I don’t have a library card, how can I access the digital materials?

No worries! You can Sign up for an “e-card” without leaving home! An e-card grants access to all digital services provided by the MORE consortium libraries. Learn more: www.more.lib.wi.us/selfreg

Will someone still be available to answer reference questions or questions about my account?

Yes! You can now get personal help from your library over the phone, via email, and through online chat. NOTE: For the security of library staff, your call will be returned from an “unknown” number. For email, if you have spam-blocking software in place, you may need to disable it.

• Online Chat (Mon–Fri, 10am–5pm): www.ecpubliclibrary.info/contact-the-library
• General questions: 715-839-5004 • reference@eauclaire.lib.wi.us
• Youth Services: 715-839-5007 • ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us
• Account-related questions: 715-839-5003 • circstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us
• Critical Resources (food, shelter, mental health, etc.): 715-839-5061 • libbyr@eauclaire.lib.wi.us

My kids and I really miss storytime. How can we continue to enjoy storytime and connect with other kids and families?

Good news! Our Youth Services staff is offering a number of online programs for kids and families at home. On Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. you can enjoy “Baby Storytime LIVE” on the library’s Facebook page . Also on Facebook, you’ll see new family storytime videos on Fridays at 10:00 a.m.

You can also find archived storytime videos on the library’s YouTube channel and starting soon on our Youth Services website.

What resources can I access online while the library is closed?

While the library building will be closed to the public, we are uniquely positioned to continue supporting our community with online resources and services. In fact, we now offer enhanced access to our digital media services.

This means we’re expanding the quantity and availability of e-books and other media. Adding to the already free access provided by those services, you can now enjoy unprecedented access. Learn more: www.ecpubliclibrary.info/media