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Guidelines for Reopening WI Public Libraries Released

Friday, April 24, 2020

The Department of Public Instruction (DPI), in collaboration with leaders from all 16 Wisconsin regional library systems that represent all 380 public libraries, have developed general guidelines, clarification, and best practices for local libraries to eventually reopen to the public. The principles of personal safety, risk mitigation, transparency, and capacity guide the ongoing development and application of these guidelines.

Every community in Wisconsin is unique and all library decisions are made by local library boards. These guidelines and best practices are intended to allow libraries to make the best possible decisions for their communities. Not all libraries will have the ability to offer curbside service at the same level or along the same timeline as other libraries. The safety of library staff and communities is of paramount consideration while evaluating the services offered.

Each library and system will determine its level of physical item service, handling, and delivery based upon its ability to abide by public health protocols for staff and patrons. We encourage libraries to share this information with trustees to ensure informed decisions when planning future service offerings within the context of the pandemic. Planning for the upcoming service levels, based on the Governor's Badger Bounce Back plan is currently underway.

The Guidelines for Reopening WI Public Libraries is a living document and a work in progress; it will be edited and added to as situations evolve. It serves as the reference point for changes in orders coming from DHS and the Office of the Governor, and will address how those orders impact library services at the public library level.

Contact your public library system for additional information.

Submitted by the Library Team, Division for Libraries and Technology

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