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Decorah Public Library will partially reopen on February 1st

Posted: Mon, Jan 11, 2021 5:04 PM

The Decorah Public Library Board of Trustees has given its approval to a plan to partially reopen the library to the public on February 1st.

The library has been closed to the public since last spring due to a combination of the COVID-19 epidemic and construction work inside the library.  It has been offering book bundle pickups and digital services during the closing. 

Under the proposal approved Monday evening, the basement and second floor of the library would remain closed to the public, while the main floor of the library would be filled to no more than 50 percent of its capacity.  The new plan tentatively set to begin February 1st, depending on COVID conditions, is for "express service," which would limit someone's visit to the library to either 20 or 30 minutes.  The system is seen as an intermediate step between being closed and being fully open.

Much of the discussion at Monday evening's library board meeting revolved around potential future situations and how the library might respond. The motion approved Monday evening will open the library February 1st, with a decision about again closing the library in case of staffing issues being left to the discretion of the library director, while a decision about closing again due to COVID-19 issues would involve the library board as well.

The three week time between the library board meeting and February 1st is seen as giving adequate time to answer many of the remaining questions, including what days of the week and what times of the days the library will be open for "express service."