The temperatures have been rising and the rates of COVID-19 in Buffalo County have been falling which means wonderful things for the Library. We are not currently planning in person programming; however, we are hoping that may change soon. With the temperatures becoming warmer, staff are considering outdoor programming that can be done in person while social distancing. This includes our Knits ‘n’ Knots group and we have been discussing an in person, outdoor Story Time in the summer. We will announce any programs on our website and on Facebook, as well as in this column. Keep an eye out!

Decreasing rates of COVID-19 in Buffalo County means that the risk level for the county is also decreasing, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) Disease Activity Map. According to the library’s reopening procedures, when Buffalo County is at medium risk level for 14 consecutive days, we will move into “Phase II”. What does that mean?

The main changes are:

  • The number of persons allowed in the library building at one time increases to 25, including staff.
  • Visitors will be allowed to read newspapers in the library.
  • Laptops can be checked out at the circulation desk and used around the library. (Please note this does not include using the laptops for playing videogames or watching movies. At this time, we are asking computers to be used for “business” reasons only.)
  • Visitors can bring their own devices and work inside of the library.
  • Small meetings of persons will be allowed to take place inside of the library.
  • Small in person programs and outdoor programs may occur.

What is staying the same?

  • Masks are still required when inside of the library. Masks are available to patrons who did not bring a mask. Visitors may be asked to leave if they are not or refuse to wear a mask and will be directed towards our curbside pick-up services.
  • Appointments can still be made to use the computers.
  • Returned materials will still be placed in quarantine before being checked in and we request that all materials are returned through the book drop.

All procedures and changes can be found on our website under “Library Pandemic Services” in the “Phased Reopening Guidelines” document.

If Buffalo County levels, according to the Wisconsin DHS, rise above medium at any time the library will immediately revert back to Phase I.

The library is open Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The library is closed on Sunday.