As with so many places around the country, and the world, the Eau Claire library is now open for business.
And like most businesses or organizations, it is not business as usual. You need to know right off that anyone coming into the library, for any reason, or any amount of time, needs to schedule an appointment. Also, know that same day appointments are not currently schedulable.
First, yes indeed, we are open for you to come into the library to browse all of the libraries materials such as books, DVDs, or CDs for 1 hour. We allow only 10 people in the building for browsing per hour, a mask is required (unless you have a health issue or under the age of 2), social distancing is encouraged, and we ask that you bring your library card with you. Using the self-checkout machines helps to eliminate as much contact between people as possible.
Second, if you choose to not come into the library, we offer a contactless library pickup service in the lower level, which used to be for parking. Once materials are on hold, and ready to be picked up, customers schedule a time within 5 days to pick their items up. When contacted, customers are instructed to drive to a certain lane, at a certain time, from 10-5, and 10-4:30 on Saturdays. Library materials are placed on a cart, with the normal hold slips that have their patron alias, and are already checked out on their card.
Third, you may reserve a computer on the second floor for 75-minutes, and have access to the printers. Need copies, or something scanned? The folks in reference are happy to assist you. Tax forms? Reference materials? Voter registration? Yes, we can help. Call 715-839-5004 to schedule your appointment between 10:15 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Last, should you need our Community Resource Specialist for questions on food, housing, mental health, substance abuse, parenting, children, domestic violence, education, or unemployment, please contact Libby Richter at 715-839-5061, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is not open? Well, most other services are not. The monthly free legal clinic, which has gone on for decades, and is extremely popular, is on hold. Same with the Dabble Box, although you may still check out the Dabble Box kits. All of the meeting rooms are closed for now, ArtsWest is virtual this year, and the summer reading programs are online. In short, most activities are not happening right now. I sadly miss my BookBike shifts.
While the library staff has done an amazing job getting items together, and out the door, it has been noted that phone calls are not always answered, and things do get missed. We take hundreds of calls each day, and we are super heroes, but really human after all.
Please know we are open 10-4 Monday-Friday, which means if you work a typical 9-5 job, well, you are hosed to actually come into the library. Please keep in touch, and check our website and Facebook page. Library staff will adapt once schools open, looking at ways that best suit both the public and staff. As with any business or organization, you need to keep up, as changes due to the coronavirus are constantly changing.
Reservations? For curbside or browsing appointments, call circulation at 715-839-5066. For computer reservations, call reference at 715-839-5004. The Reference Team is here to assist and answer phones 10-5 Monday-Friday. We would love to hear from you.
So give us a call! We are open for business!