COVID - 19 and Spooner Memorial Library Message from our Director, Angie Bodzislaw: "As a librarian I need to re-frame my thoughts about how to best serve my patrons. Typically, that means staying open at all costs. But in this case, "how to best serve my patrons" means reducing opportunities for exposure and working alongside our health department and state to slow the spread of COVID-19, which will, in turn, ease the burden on our local hospitals and protect our vulnerable community members. Closing the library is not a decision I, nor my board, takes lightly; however, it is imperative that we do so. Though our doors will be closed, we do offer Minimal Contact Curbside Pickup four days a week. We have tentative plans to open the library to 5 patrons at a time in June. More details coming."
Update: On May 26, 2020 the Library Board of Trustees approved an eight stage plan to reopen the library. Starting on June 1, 2020 the dropbox will be open every day and starting June 5, Fridays will be a day where patrons can come into the library at scheduled times. As we move into each stage of reopening we will assess the current environment of our community to determine at what pace we should move forward. We continue to work closely with Public Health as well.
Update: On June 23, 2020 the Library Board of Trustees approved moving on to Stage 5 of opening and amended the policy of restricting children under 8 from using the library. Effective July 1st, patrons of all ages will be able to enter the library with restrictions - all must sanitize their hands, stay home if ill, and age 2+ must wear a mask (masks provided if needed). Toys will be put away time slots will be scheduled.
On July 28, 2020 the Library Board of Trustees approved remaining at Stage 5 of opening with a few changes. Effective August 10th the scheduled in person days will be at the beginning of the week (Monday-Wednesday, 8am-8pm) and curbside only days will be at the end of the week (Thursday, 8am-8pm; Friday, 8am-4pm; Saturday, 8am-Noon). Visits are shortened back up to 15 minutes as an added safety measure. Earlier morning and Saturday hours were added to better be accessible to patrons.
On September 22, 2020 the Library Board of Trustees approved moving to state 6 of opening with a few changes. Effective October 5th the scheduled in person days will be Monday-Thursday, 8-8. Curbside only days will be Friday, 8-4 and Saturday, 8-12. To better serve our patrons, public computers can be scheduled all week, Monday-Saturday during library hours. Four computers will be open. A seating area will also be open to assist virtual education families and remote workers. Each table will be by reservation. Outdoor programs with 10 attendees or less is allowed with six foot distance between attendees. One bathroom is open for patrons and is cleaned once per day.
On October 27, 2020 the Library Board of Trustees approved remaining at stage 6 of opening due to the increased risk of COVID in our community. The only change is that tables do not need to be reserved.
Update November 17, 2020: A message from our Director:
Community is at the core of our mission, and as such, it is with a concerned heart for our community that we are closing our doors to in-person library use effective November 18, 2020.
Here is where our community is at, and the "why" behind moving to curbside only services:
Washburn County has had over 498 confirmed cases of COVID and there are no signs of slowing down. It took our County 6 months to reach 100 cases and only 2 months to reach an additional 400 cases. Last weekend alone, the County added 73 more cases. From November 3rd-14th (11 days) the County saw a 108% increase in cases in the 30-49 year old age range.
Our library team cares deeply about all of you and will continue to be innovative and creative in how we serve you from afar. You will still have access to what we house in the library and on the web. You will be able to print/copy/fax/scan and more. Visit our website to schedule curbside services: spoonerlibrary.org.
On January 27, 2021 the Library Board of Trustees and library Director discussed reopening at their regularly scheduled board meeting and determined that opening the doors to in person visits was appropriate at this time. The Wisconsin DHS COVID activity level has changed from Critical to Very High and we have seen a significant decrease in the number of new positive cases since the Board's decision to offer curbside-only. Effective February 1, 2021 the library will allow in person visits Monday-Saturday during regularly scheduled hours. The infrastructure is in place to go back to curbside-only should there be a large COVID spike. Masks must be worn properly, covering the nose and mouth, by all patrons and staff. The mask requirement is non-negotiable and is not dependent on a state mask mandate. Curbside appointments will remain available all week long and can be scheduled on the library website or by phone call. Programs will continue to be offered virtually and toys and seating, aside from designated spaced tables, will no be available at this time. We ask that patrons and staff who are ill or asked to quarantine remain home for the safety of the community.
On March 16, 2021 Northern Waters Library System announced that returned items and items in delivery will no longer need to be quarantined for 4 days. Items will be quarantined for 24 hours instead. Effective March 20, 2021 Saturday hours will move back to pre-COVID hours of 8am - 4pm. Spooner Library continues to require properly worn masks while in the building and curbside continues to be available Monday-Saturday.