Dear Oshkosh Public Library Patrons,

As I write this, the library building remains closed to the public. Contactless curbside pickup of materials is in full swing and our Library Board has approved a plan for a limited expansion of library services to ensure the health of library users and our staff.

When will the library reopen? We can’t offer a definite date at this point. And when we do open it won’t be “business as usual.” Our plan is to implement a phased expansion of services, based on data tracked in the state’s Badger Bounce Back plan.  When public health data for our state shows a significant and sustained downward trend in COVID-19 cases, we will begin to offer limited services.

Here’s what we know right now:

Phase 1
  • Computer and internet access inside the building will be available by appointment only to people who need help with such things as working on resumes, applying for unemployment benefits, filing taxes, filling out the census, or applying for small business loans.

  • Our popular curbside pickup service will continue for the foreseeable future as the safest way for you to access our collection. We know you miss browsing for materials and can’t wait to welcome you back when public health data indicates it can be done safely.

  •  Virtual programming will also continue, offering learning and entertainment for all ages.

Guided by recommendations from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , we’re in the process of intensive cleaning, ordering appropriate supplies, creating signage and reconfiguring the library’s public spaces and work areas to accommodate a distance of six feet between people.

We’re excited to offer the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge
This is normally the time of year when our librarians would be out in the community sharing the excitement about our Summer Reading Challenge. Although we couldn’t connect in person, the good news is that our Summer Reading Challenge for children, teens and adults begins on Mon., June 15!

Following the library’s temporary closure in March, our librarians quickly began researching ways to offer a digital Summer Reading Challenge in addition to a traditional paper reading record. As a result, we have partnered with Beanstack to create an interactive program that can be accessed on a computer, tablet, laptop or smartphone. In minutes, readers can register as individuals, a family or groups, and it’s easy to track and achieve your goals.

We’re working non-stop to put the finishing touches on the 2020 Summer Reading Challenge and conduct virtual staff trainings, so please stay tuned to OPL’s website , eNewsletter and social media for updates regarding registration, prizes and other details.

Finally, thank you for your patience and understanding. We know this situation is difficult and disappointing. Through it all, the library is committed to patron and staff safety; and to providing as many services and resources as we’re able.

Library staff are still available by phone (236-5203 or 236-5205), email and through our website’s chat service. No matter what the future holds; no matter what your circumstances may be, you can count on your library to be here for you.

Please feel free to share this email and continue to visit our website and Facebook page for updates.

Best wishes,

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe
Library Director