By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Jun 03, 2021 at 1:29 PM

If you're like me, you were excited when the Milwaukee Public Library branches reopened to the public, but found it a little bittersweet to not be able to browse the shelves. Perusing the new arrivals is one of my favorite library pastimes.

But now MPL has announced that browsing returns to the branch libraries on Monday, June 7 and patrons will be allowed to scan the shelves in the adult and children's sections at all locations.

However, the stacks at Central Library remain closed as the staff readies the main location for an August return.

“It has been over a year since our patrons were able to browse and select their own materials,” said Milwaukee Public Library Director Joan Johnson.

“While we were delighted to be able to safely offer materials pickup and computer usage, browsing the stacks is one of the things we know our patrons miss the most.”

Masks will still be mandatory for library staff and visitors and social distancing and capacity limits remain in force.

Thanks to the return of browsing – which opens up more floor space – more people will be allowed into the branches.

Community spaces and meeting rooms, as well as in-person indoor programming, remain on hold for now.

Curbside service remains available by request.

For more information, see

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.