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Baraboo Public Library shuts its doors
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Baraboo Public Library shuts its doors

Summer reading (copy)

The Baraboo Public Library will be closed until at least April 6 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Director Jessica Bergin announced Monday.

Baraboo Public Library is following the school district’s example in its attempts to keep people from being exposed to COVID-19, as institutions and large gatherings across the state have been canceled in the last five days.

Library Director Jessica Bergin sent an email to patrons and others at 6 p.m. Sunday announcing the building’s closure. Patrons had Monday and will have today to call to request and pick up items they were already hoping to check out, taking part in a “curbside pickup.”

Bergin said Monday they plan to reopen April 6, but things could change.

“Mostly we’ve heard that people understand why we had to close, but are disappointed that they aren’t able to get books and movies and things they would want,” Bergin said. “We do hope people will make use of some of our online resources.”

Patrons can still check out e-books and audio books through their online services, she added. While patrons may not be able to use computers, they do intend to leave the wireless internet on during the closure to ensure people can use it outside the building to download materials.

Bergin said they plan to keep the public updated via social media and she said their website should be kept updated during the closure.

With about 20 staff members, Bergin said everyone was in the building Monday and Tuesday for curbside pickup services. After Tuesday, staff would either have limited or no work hours. Baraboo Common Council has scheduled a special meeting Tuesday to discuss whether the city should modify the employee handbook to be able to pay and provide benefits to employees who are forced to stay home from work during a large-scale medical emergency.

The library has also closed its book return because there will be no staff on hand to re-shelve materials, which means patrons won’t be able to return items to the library. Bergin said those who currently have materials checked out but will not be able to return them will not incur late fees during the closure.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.

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