Prairie du Chien library reopens on limited basis

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By Correne Martin

 

The Prairie du Chien Memorial Library reopened its facility to the public Tuesday, with new limited hours as well as rules in place to keep all patrons and staff safe.

The library is open to adults and visitors age 15 and older on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Thursdays from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Groups of three or more are asked to call in advance. Parents with children are welcome on Wednesdays and Fridays, by appointment only.

No more than 10 users will be allowed in the library at one time, and all are encouraged to browse and go. 

“This is totally experimental and can change,” said Director Nancy Ashmore, who shared that business was pretty quiet the first day open after nearly four months of being closed due to coronavirus concerns.

To keep everyone as safe as possible, hand sanitizer will be offered and patrons are urged to use it upon entering the library, and if they wish as they leave. Social distancing of 6 feet or more is expected of everyone. 

Masks must be properly worn for the entire visit, unless patrons are in a study room. Study rooms can be used, for example, to read the newspaper and use WiFi on personal devices, for one hour at a time. Room priority will be given to those who book in advance. 

“Study rooms will be sanitized after each person,” Ashmore noted. 

There is no seating available in the main portion of the library, except at the computers. These may be used for up to one hour, and priority is again given to those who schedule time in advance.

For those needing the restroom, only the one in the children’s area will be open, and it will not be sanitized between patron visits. Thorough handwashing is also expected. 

Ashmore explained that all materials in the library’s collection are available for checkout. 

During the time the library was closed to in-house patrons, many residents and community visitors took advantage of its curbside pickup offering, which remains an option for those interested, she added.

At this time, there will be no charge for any papers printed, with the intent being to handle as little money as possible. Though donation jars will be out for anyone wanting to contribute. 

“We are happy to be able to reopen to the public,” Ashmore concluded.

For more information or questions, contact the library staff at 326-6211. 

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