The Madison Public Libraries reopened today across Madison. The buildings have been closed to the public for more than a year, offering only curbside pickup during the pandemic. Earlier this month, the Madison Board approved a reopening plan, choosing today’s date as the official reopening to give staff two weeks’ notice about the reopening.
The reopening means books and other materials are now available for public browsing, and members of the public can use computers. The reopening does come with some restrictions. At the moment, library patrons still must wear masks, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Digital Services and Marketing Manager Tana Elias says they’re still evaluating how long to enforce those requirements – especially once Dane County public health guidelines are lifted next Wednesday.
“We are adhering to the requirements that are in place now. We are evaluating our transition plans going forward in conjunction with the city of Madison, and we should be announcing our plans later this week,” says Tana Elias.
The reopening also comes with some new additions, including self-checkout machines to avoid contact. Some services, such as programs held indoors and reservable meeting rooms, are still on hold.
Here’s what some library patrons had to say today…
With the reopening plan also comes reduced hours. Almost all libraries will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays, and 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The Monroe Street branch will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays.
Reporting for WORT News, I’m Hailey Griffin.
Image Courtesy: Hailey Griffin / WORT News