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Oshkosh Public Library to open up more services as COVID-19 cases in the area drop

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:10 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - People in Oshkosh looking for ways to get out of the house this winter will soon have a new option.

The Oshkosh Public Library will reopen some of its services Wednesday, once again allowing people inside to browse.

“The library is a sanctuary to people for many different reasons,” said Library Director Jeff Gilderson-Duwe.

Now the Oshkosh community is getting its sanctuary back as COVID cases in the county continue to drop and more people get vaccinations.

“So we feel that this is the right time and that we can safely open the library building to the community now,” said Gilderson-Duwe.

Gllderson-Duwe says customers have been allowed into the public library’s lobby to pick-up orders, but now they’ll be able to stay a while to browse books, use computers, and so on.

“It feels great because we miss our library patrons, we enjoy serving them, it’s why we got into this business,” said Gilderson Duwe. “It also feels scary, because we’re in the middle of the pandemic still.”

That’s why anyone two or older will be required to wear a mask properly, covering their mouth and nose.

There is also plexiglass around service stations, hand sanitizer is placed throughout the library, and social distancing will also be enforced.

“We’ve organized our furniture, our equipment, and all our service points to allow for that physical distancing,” said Gilderson-Duwe.

Meeting rooms will be closed and all Oshkosh library programming will continue to be held virtually.

Those measures are made to ensure everyone can safely enjoy some time away from home.

“People miss coming to the library, they miss spending time in the stacks browsing books, but they miss being in this space as well. Because it’s a beautiful place, it’s a comfortable space to spend time,” said Gilderson-Duwe.

He will continue to monitor COVID cases, and hopes things will continue to turn the corner.

“We’re depending upon the community to continue to follow good practices both inside the library and out. We will continue to watch those cases and the library board has also entrusted me to pull back if the cases go in the wrong direction,” " said Gilderson-Duwe. “But we’re very hopeful that we’re starting to turn a corner on this pandemic and that this is the first step toward a complete normalization of our library services.”

Anyone uncomfortable stopping by in person can still use the library’s curbside services.

For library hours and more information on the in-person health safety measures being taken, visit the Oshkosh Library’s website HERE.

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