In times of public crisis, Milwaukee Public Library (MPL) has kept its doors open during weather emergencies, natural disasters, and other cases of extreme community need. However, the extraordinary circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic have created a unique health emergency. After much consideration, MPL’s early response to ensure the safety of its staff and patrons was to close all MPL facilities in March.
In the months since, MPL has been shifting library programs and services online until the branches are able to safely reopen. At the same time, MPL has been called upon to support other agencies including Milwaukee Public Schools, the Public Health Department, and the Mayor’s office to maximize a dynamic crisis response. All of these efforts have exposed the systemic gaps that are widening as a result of the crisis, especially within our underserved communities.
As a result, Milwaukee Public Library Foundation has developed the COVID-19 Relief Fund to support the library’s innovative recovery programs for the community in response to the pandemic – especially for our most vulnerable neighbors.
“It is a time of profound stress for our community, and the Milwaukee Public Library is working tirelessly to continue to serve patrons. The Milwaukee Public Library Foundation is honored to help the library respond to this crisis by meeting the needs of our residents in new and creative ways. The library has always been a critical part of community life, and this is never more evident or important than in times that challenge us."
-Ryan E. Daniels, Executive Director
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