LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Starting today, February 15, the La Crosse Public Library's Main St. building is opening to the public for brief visits.
The library said in a news release that they can "now accommodate short in-person visits for intentional browsing of materials and unscheduled computer use."
As part of the new "Grab and Go" services, people can come in, browse the shelves, and check out materials. They did remove seating or reserve it for people wanting to use the library's computers.
They are limiting the number of people in the library based on guidelines and metrics from local health officials.
Visitors must also wear faces masks and practice social distancing while in the library.
The only open doors to the library are at the south entrance.
Meeting rooms, children’s play and seating areas remain unavailable.
In making the announcement, the library did provide a short FAQ on what this means for visitors.
What will I have access to?
● Patrons will be able to access the circulating collections on both floors as well as the library computers.
How will this be different from library visits in the past?
● These visits will feel similar to going to the grocery store at this time. Done with a clear purpose and for a short duration. Come in to pick your holds, use the computer or do some intentional browsing.
What can I expect when I arrive at the library?
● Please self-screen for COVID symptoms and follow the guidelines established by the Coulee COVID-19 Collaborative for La Crosse County.
● All visitors five years of age or older and staff are required to wear a face covering at all times inside the library. If you are unable to do so, we can offer curbside delivery with advanced notice. To request materials, call 608.789.7167.
What is the library doing to sanitize and provide physical distancing?
● We have limited occupancy based on community health metrics and social distancing guidelines.
● The public computers are spaced apart to facilitate this.
● All City of La Crosse buildings require all staff and visitors to wear face masks that cover both the nose and mouth at all times while in the building.
● Daily cleaning with additional cleaning of high contact areas to be done by staff periodically.
What should I bring with me?
● Your library card and your own face covering.
● If you don’t have a library card, you can request one at the Circulation Desk.
Can I use the restrooms when I visit?
● Yes, the public restrooms on both floors will be open. Single occupancy please.
Can I bring my own laptop/device and use the library’s WiFi?
● You can bring those in to facilitate printing or for use at any designated computer station. Due to current occupancy limitations, if you bring in your own laptop/device, we ask that you keep your library visit to 2 hours or less, in accordance with time limitations for users of library computers.
● WiFi is available outside the building from 5:00 AM to 11:00 PM seven days a week at any of the three La Crosse Public Library locations. No password needed, just accept terms and conditions.
How does the library determine service levels?
The library determines when and how to roll back services based on health and safety recommendations from the following sources and indicators:
● La Crosse County Health Department
● Coulee COVID Collaborative
● Wisconsin Department of Health Services
● Current public service levels in municipal and/or county buildings
● Current in-person precautions used by area school districts
● Executive Orders from the Wisconsin Governor
● Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
● Centers for Disease Control
We must also ensure we have adequate staff available to safely offer our services, monitoring required quarantines and positive COVID cases among our employees