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Marathon County Public Library

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Marathon County Public Library set for limited reopening

woman wearing face mask using a computer

June 16, 2020

After being closed for the past three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all nine Marathon County Public Library (MCPL) locations will reopen on Monday, June 22, with limited services. This includes locations in Wausau, Athens, Edgar, Hatley, Marathon City, Mosinee, Rothschild, Spencer and Stratford.

MCPL’s limited reopening on June 22 will be the first phase in a multi-step reopening plan that will unfold throughout the coming months. During this phase, library locations will be open by appointment only, and with limited hours (see a list of location hours here). At MCPL’s Wausau Headquarters, the public may call the reference desk at 715-261-7230 to schedule an appointment for computer use. A cardholder may use a library computer for a maximum of one hour per day. A limited number of computer stations will be available, and stations will be sanitized between use. Appointments must be made ahead of time and patrons will not be permitted to enter the building unless they have a set appointment. No in-person browsing of materials will be permitted at MCPL Wausau at this time.

At the eight branch libraries, patrons may call and schedule an appointment to use a computer or to browse for materials. Due to limited staffing and the size of the branch libraries, patrons are limited to one 30-minute session per week. Appointments must be made ahead of time and patrons will not be permitted to enter the building unless they have a set appointment.

During this phase, contact-free curbside pickup will continue to be offered at each location. Patrons can request items for curbside pickup by calling their local MCPL location or by using the online catalog. For more information on how curbside pickup service works, visit www.mcpl.us/curbside. Patrons are asked to continue returning their items via the outside book drops at each location. As a reminder, no fines will be added for items that patrons had checked out during the library’s closure from March-June.

Library staff will utilize several safety precautions in order to keep themselves and the public safe, including wearing face masks; sanitizing computers, doors and other touch points between use and at set times throughout the day; and letting all returned items quarantine for 72 hours. Sanitizing stations will also be set up at various points at each location. Patrons are encouraged to wear face masks when visiting the library and to follow social distancing practices. In cases where a patron requests staff assistance while using a computer, the patron is required to wear a face mask. It is recommended that patrons bring their own masks from home.

Additional library services will continue to be offered to the public in a limited capacity. Patrons may contact the MCPL Wausau reference desk with research questions, for technology assistance or for reader’s advisory via phone (715-261-7230), email (ref@mcpl.us) or online chat between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. The WI-FI at each of the eight branch libraries will remain on 24/7, providing patrons outside of the library (within range) with access to high-speed Internet. The WI-FI at MCPL Wausau will remain on during the hours of 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Most in-person events, such as story times, will continue to be suspended for the time being. Select events, like book clubs, will be offered if the number of attendees and adequate meeting space to allow for social distancing is available. Online/virtual events, including Virtual Story Time and Virtual Book Clubs, will continue to be offered. A selection of Grab & Go craft kits will be made available in the coming weeks as well. For a list of upcoming events, visit www.mcpl.us/events.

All nine MCPL locations closed on March 17 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, and in accordance with the state’s Safer at Home orders. MCPL’s limited reopening plan was voted on and approved by the MCPL’s Board of Trustees on June 15, 2020.

The Marathon County Public Library is excited to implement this plan and to begin reopening its locations with the health and safety of both its staff and the public in mind. For questions, please call your local MCPL location.



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