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District 1

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Image of Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Alder Barbara Harrington-McKinney

Contact Information

Home Address:

1209 Dayflower Dr

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Harrington-McKinney’s Updates

Why Libraries Remain Open

March 13, 2020 3:55 PM

I have received inquiries about why our libraries remain open in light of public safety concerns over the CONV-19 virus. The city will be providing updates as they come available. Also please frequently check the website for current information. Given the health concerns related to COVID-19, many venues are being cancelled, it would be wise to call ahead. Please practice the recommended public safety practices PROVIDED BY OUR PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT.  

Libraries WILL remain open
While our libraries are public spaces with a lot of foot traffic and the potential for germ transmission, our libraries are also critical resources for information and internet access, voter registration, in-person absentee voting, distance education, and a place with resources for people to fill out their 2020 Census forms. At this time, all Madison Public Library locations will be open regular hours and providing regular library services.  

We are increasing health signage in our libraries, and providing sanitizer and tissues throughout our spaces. We have increased the frequency of cleanings of our buildings and high-touch surfaces within our buildings, as well as educated our staff about best practices for healthy workplaces and public spaces. We are implementing practices in customer service intended to limit the amount of personal contact and increase social distancing in our libraries. We are also sharing CDC and Public Health Madison & Dane County guidelines for people who should limit their exposure with the public, and staff who fall in those categories are being offered alternative work arrangements.

Many events will be cancelled
Effective Monday, March 16, we are cancelling all library-led events indefinitely. This includes all library storytimes and regular programs run by our library staff. This decision was made based on public health concerns as well as predicted staffing availability. We are also following guidelines recommended by the Governor of Wisconsin and the Public Health Madison & Dane County and cancelling all community events in our libraries that have an expected audience of 250 or more effective immediately, including the Grand Opening Weekend events at the new Pinney Library on 516 Cottage Grove Road scheduled for March 14 and 15.

Our libraries are used by many community groups to host meetings, classes and events as well. Many of these events will still occur in our libraries, but any partner-sponsored event or meeting may be canceled or rescheduled at the discretion of the organizer. As of today, we are still hosting many partner-sponsored events of less than 250 persons, including in-person absentee voting (beginning Monday, March 23), tax assistance, and census-related events. Please check our calendar for upcoming closings, or call any open library for updates. We will be updating our public calendar as quickly as we receive notice or make cancellation decisions.
As an agency of the City of Madison, we will continue to follow directives for service provision and events from the Mayor's Office, Public Health of Madison & Dane County, and the State of Wisconsin.  

Planning ahead
The library is re-evaluating its services regularly based on staffing levels and recommendations from the City of Madison and Public Health Madison & Dane County. We will continue to communicate updates through a special web page dedicated to coronavirus updates from the library. You can also follow the library onFacebook or Twitter for updates.

Library services online
During this challenging time we want to remind you that many library resources are available to you even if you don't visit our libraries. We have ebooks and downloadable audiobooks, online magazines, and other online resources available 24/7 with your current library card.

We know these changes will impact you and we will continue to share updates and changes. In the meantime, you can stay informed through credible sources such Public Health Madison & Dane County, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Tana Elias, Digital Services & Marketing Manager
Madison Public Library
201 W. Mifflin St.
Madison WI 53703
web site  facebook twitter

Libraries are partnering with the Census Bureau to make sure everyone participates in the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau is hiring! Jobs start at $22/hr. For more, visit


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