Tougher school security limits access to Denmark library

DENMARK, Wis. (WBAY) - Heightened school security leads to changes at Brown County Library's Denmark branch. Community members will no longer be able to visit the library when students are in school.

Brown County Public Library Denmark branch (WBAY photo)

Only a handful of communities in Wisconsin have their public library inside a school.

"We formed the partnership -- the public library being in the high school -- in 1999, and it's worked very well," Sue Lagerman, Brown County LIbrary communications manager, said.

But starting September 4 -- with the first day of school -- Denmark residents will no longer be able to access the library during the day.

"Public library hours will begin when school ends," Lagerman said.

The reason is enhanced student safety.

"Denmark High School is implementing a security system which will scan IDs and then actually it runs a little mini background check, and that goes against when public libraries can do. We cannot scan IDs to either let people in or keep people out of the library. So basically there's different state statutes that govern the public school and govern the public library, and there's a conflict between the two."

The new library hours will be from 3:30 to 8 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays and from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

In addition to the new evening hours, the library will hold its popular story time on Mondays at 5:30 p.m.

Lagerman expects the community will be understanding.

"Feedback remains to be seen, but I think it'll go well because the library is committed to providing library service in Denmark, so this is the best-case scenario," Lagerman said. "The library didn't dictate it, the school didn't dictate it, we worked on it together."