Eau Claire Library Closes Because of Pandemic (Again)

online offerings still available from L.E. Phillips library, but in-person options closed

V1 Staff |

The stacks at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire.
The stacks at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire.

The L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in Eau Claire announced Sunday that it would close – effective immediately, and until at least Nov. 30 – because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement came as coronavirus cases surged in the state and region: “Eau Claire County is suffering some of the highest infection rates in the country, and local hospitals are at capacity in terms of staff and space available to deal with the surge,” the library said in a press release. In addition, there have been recent COVID-19 exposure in the library, a press release stated.

“We understand how disappointing this is for our customers,” said Library Deputy Director Kimberly Hennings. “However, the health and safety our staff and community are our top priorities. We are closely following expert health guidance so we can to minimize risk and ensure our procedures are safe and effective.”

The library had initially closed to the public in March as a result of the pandemic. It began pick-up appointments in May, and in July started allowing a patrons to schedule in-person visits.

According to the announcement, the following services are impacted:

Specific services temporarily paused include all In-Person Library Appointments (for browsing and computer use), and all holds pickup methods (including the “Park & Pickup” self-service option and in-building pickup). Current on-hold materials will be held until the library reopens. All library drop boxes, including those placed throughout the City of Eau Claire, are closed until the library reopens. Library customers are asked to keep their materials at home, and due dates are indefinitely extended. The library’s “Curb Hunger” free grocery pickup service is also suspended.

The library added that “Customers are strongly encouraged to access the library’s numerous online offerings such as e-books, audiobooks, movie, and music downloads; online storytimes and other virtual programs; digital research archives; reference services; and more. These services can be accessed through the library’s website ( and Facebook page (”

You can find out more details about the closure at