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UPDATE: Marathon County Library postpones Library Learning Lab opening

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UPDATE (WAOW)— The Marathon County Public Library has decided to postpone the opening of its Student Learning Lab until further notice.

The library says they are doing this out of "an abundance of caution" due to Marathon County Health Department reporting a record number of positive COVID-19 cases.

The lab was set to open October 5.

The library says students in need of high-speed internet access can still make an appointment at any MCPL location by calling 715-261-7230.

WAUSAU, Wis. (WAOW)—The Marathon County Library is offering a place for your kids to buckle down on their homework.

"It's a place where kids ages eight and up can come and just have a quiet place to work and have access to strong reliable internet," said Dan Richter, from the county library headquarters.

The Wausau Library branch's community room is being retrofitted to accommodate small groups of students. The library says they felt a space like this was their responsibility.

"The library is always a place where we try to connect people together, educate and entertain, and this certainly falls under education," said Richter.

Many rural communities in the county are struggling with sufficient internet and technology access. The labs are hoped to provide help.

"We have a reliable strong internet connection, we have laptops that they're able to use if they don't have their own or theirs is older or slower," Richter said.

Whether your student is working on simple math or a term paper, someone will be there to help

Staff members will be on hand to help with technology and offer guidance if students need to do research of any kind. Students can check out books during their lab session to be used for school assignments, and take the books home with them as well.

Labs will be held in two hour increments, giving parents an opportunity to drop off their students and get work done of their own.

The room will hold approximately six students at a time. The tables are socially distanced, cleaned and sanitized in between sessions.

Richter says this outlet will benefit those throughout the county, and while they can't predict the turnout yet, they know there is a large demand.

"They can come from anywhere in Marathon County, and even just Wausau School District alone there's a lot of students, so just want to give as many student the opportunity as possible," Richter said.

Labs start October 5th, but registration started on Wednesday. To book a session, call: (715) 261-7200.

Students between the age of 8-13 must have a parent with them for the session, those over 13 may attend on their own.

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Addison Van Patten

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