The Rusk County Community Library understands their library patrons are looking forward to the possibility of curbside service and anticipates the service will begin sometime in May.

For this service to work well, the Rusk County Community Library Director Hollis Helmeci said the library staff must ensure the health and safety of both the patrons and staff. The library is anticipating offering curbside service when the logistics and safety precautions can be effectively managed.

Following the restrictions outlined in Order #28, libraries may begin to offer curbside pick-up of books and other library materials, only if several conditions are met.

Those conditions include all operations being performed by one person in a room or confined space, materials are requested online or phone prior to pick up, no signature is collected and all pick ups are scheduled and in compliance with social distancing requirements.

A statement released by the library states that per the order, the library is allowed a very limited number of employees in the building to provide the service and must ensure proper distancing between staff and the public.

At this time, the library does not believe they are able to receive materials from other libraries to fulfill holds, which will limit everyone’s experience of normal library use.

The library currently does not have enough protective gear or cleaning supplies to ensure everyone’s safety, but those items are on order. These are challenges to offering curbside pick up, according to the statement.

The staff at RCCL will continue to gather information from the IFLS Library System, local state and national health experts and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to help answer questions to help guide the next steps.

Helmeci said, “I do know that many people are going to be very disappointed. However, if library staff becomes ill, we will have to totally shut down until it is deemed safe by health officials.”

As more information becomes available, updates will be shared on the RCCL Facebook page and the library’s website. 

Helmeci said the library is looking at both the immediate and long term consequences of acting before the library is truly ready and is looking forward to returning to serving the community in a safe and effective environment.

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