Library Pickup Service

Library Pickup Service is now available. After careful planning, our staff has created guidelines for this special service in accordance with Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order, and the City of Eau Claire’s risk management team has approved the plan. Our procedure is outlined below.

Library Pickup Service is intended only for people who feel well and are not experiencing and have not been exposed to people experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or other signs of illness.

Placing Holds

You can now place holds, but only on items available in Eau Claire (items from other libraries are not currently available). This excludes kits and other equipment. Our on-hand stock may be limited due to extended due dates, lack of returns, and minimal circulation of materials between libraries.

Note: For help with placing holds, you can call Information & Reference at 715-839-5004 to leave a message, email reference@eauclaire.lib.wi.us, or start a chat session with library staff.

If you have questions about or need suggestions for children’s materials, call 715-839-5007  or email ysstaff@eauclaire.lib.wi.us

Scheduling Material Pickup

After placing a hold, you will receive an email or a phone message stating your items are ready for pickup. You must then call 715-839-5066 to schedule a pickup time and pickup station assignment.

Appointments will be made in 10-minute slots, Monday–Saturday, up to five business days in advance. We will provide directions on pickup procedure (communicating with you directly). You will be assigned a specific lane and a specific cart to use during pickup (labeled by color and animal). Complete pickup steps are outlined below.

Please carefully follow our directions to ensure your safety and the safety of library staff. We are following recommended guidelines, which include wearing masks and gloves, proper hand washing, and sanitizing work spaces and equipment.

Note: Once you have scheduled a pickup time, your materials will be marked as checked out, even if you haven’t picked them up yet.

Picking Up Materials

Wait to be called. Library staff will contact you directly by phone.

IMPORTANT: If you are feeling unwell, or experience any COVID-19 symptoms, please call 715-839-5003 to cancel your pickup time.

1. During your pickup time, enter the library’s Lower Level parking area off Dewey Street. If you arrive prior to your time slot, please wait at street level.

2. Follow the cones and signs. There will be two lanes (designated by color), each with two pickup stations (designated by animal). Follow the directions you received from library staff and proceed to your preassigned station. 

3. Pull up alongside the pickup cart. (No need to park in a parking space as this will only take a few seconds.)

4. One person may exit the vehicle and retrieve materials. (You will not be asked to show your library card number or proof of identification.) Verify the holds alias* and your pickup time on the attached slip of paper to confirm they are your materials.

*The holds alias is a code with the first two letters of your last name, first two letters of your first name, and month and day of birth. For example, Jesse Johnson born on May 8 would be JOJE0508.

5. Place your materials in your vehicle, and then sanitize your hands using the hand sanitizer next to the cart before returning to your vehicle.

6. Continue pulling forward, following the cones out of the parking lot.

7. When returning home with your materials, we recommend placing materials in quarantine for 72 hours (3 full days) and following proper handwashing protocols after handling the materials.

If you are late for your appointment or need to cancel, please contact customer services at 715-839-5003. We greatly appreciate your support and patience as we work to ensure safe and convenient operating procedures!

Dropping Off Materials

Library book drops around the city of Eau Claire are open on an alternating schedule. Please follow the special instructions posted on each box. Use only open boxes for drop off. Closed book drops will remain in quarantine for at least 72 hours before we can retrieve the materials inside.

It’s been taking us about a week (sometimes longer) for items returned to be checked back in, so you may receive an automatic phone call or email about overdue items you’ve already returned. We’re working to update that message, but if you are contacted about overdue items you’ve already returned, please disregard.

Please plan ahead when returning items as some book drops may be full. If you can return items a few days early, please do so. If you have scheduled an In-Person Appointment, you may return items when you come in.

From the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, Division for Libraries & Technology:

On June 22, 2020, scientists at Battelle Labs released the preliminary results of their first phase of tests as part of the REALM Project. Their research revealed that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 is not detectable on five common library materials after three days. While tests found the virus was undetectable after one day on the covers of hardback and softback books as well as DVD cases, the virus was only undetectable on the pages of books and on Mylar book jackets after three days. This new information lends even more credence to the decision to quarantine library materials for 3 days.

Materials handling is very different in a library setting compared to a laboratory setting. In a lab test, materials are handled and tested as unique and individual items, whereas in a library, materials are commingled in a book drop, bag, bin, or other receptacle. Therefore, each item should be handled as if it has the longest quarantine requirement of any other item in the commingled receptacle. Since unquarantined materials should be handled minimally, we maintain our recommendation of one quarantine period for all materials, with a duration set at the longest time required to find the virus undetectable among any material types that may be commingled when returned. At this time, that continues to be a 3-day quarantine.

While some libraries may be tempted to shorten quarantine times based on results that suggest a reduced quarantine would be adequate for some materials, we strongly urge libraries to communicate with their public library systems to make sure they are consistent with the quarantine process established within the system, which is based on regional COVID data. We consider this to be an essential step in securing the safety of library and system staff, particularly as materials move through the delivery chain.

In-Person Library Appointments

Beginning on Wednesday, July 1, the library  will offer limited in-person appointments. We’ll schedule In-Person Library Appointments into three basic categories: browsing books and materials, adult-only computer/internet use, and access for at-risk populations.

Special Family Resources

Our Youth Services division has launched a special pickup service for area families. Special resources include meal bags of non-perishable food provided by Feed My People Food Bank, Summer Library Program materials, craft supplies, and more.