Much to our surprise, libraries were moved from Stage 3 to Stage 2 of the province’s re-opening plan, able to open as early as March 2 with 15% capacity. It took us a few more days to get our ducks in a row (actually, they were more like squirrels, and they were everywhere) and we re-opened on March 8 and we are loving having patrons back in the building. There are lots of new items that have been added to the collection during the closure, many still on our “new” shelves just waiting for you to come and peruse. Our hours for now are Monday to Friday 10am to 5pm and Saturday Noon to 4pm. All services are available: public computers, wifi, faxing/scanning and circulation desk services. We will still provide curbside pick up for those patrons who request it. All returning items must still be put in the outside drop box and all items will be quarantined for 72 hours before being checked in. We have not set any time limits for how long people can remain in the building, so you can sit by the fireplace and read, or use the study spaces. Masks are mandatory in the building and we ask that you please sign in in the binder by the circulation desk for contact tracing purposes. We also have separate entry and exit doors. All surfaces are disinfected regularly for your safety.
Programs will be reintroduced as soon as it is safe to do so. The Summer Reading Program will be running this year beginning in July, but we are not sure yet what format it will take. We are in the process of providing more outdoor and online programming thanks to the Friends Foundation receiving a New Horizons Grant. This will enable us to buy more snowshoes and safety equipment, bring in some trainers and speakers, set up a Zoom account, and provide laptops and tablets to program facilitators. Part of the funds will be used to make the Reading Garden a more useful space by installing outdoor heaters and lighting and more comfortable chairs. A new brochure will be available soon setting out the virtual and off-site program opportunities.
We have found that many patrons realized that knowing how to access e-books and other electronic resources during the past year saved their sanity. We also know that there are many of you who wished they possessed this knowledge. Now is the time to act. If you wish to learn how to download e-books, please make an appointment with Gita on Friday afternoons and she will get you set up. Although we hope it does not happen, another closure could occur (and we’re back to squirrels everywhere again). E-resources are free to access and include much more than books: magazines, newspapers (thousands), movies, music, language learning and research sites. Don’t feel you will have gone over to the dark side. Physical books will still be here for you, anytime.
If your membership expired during the past few months, please come in and renew! The cheerful staff at the circulation desk are happy to do this for you.
Please check our Facebook and website for update on hours and happenings. We also try to keep the phone message up to date. (Remember the squirrels!) Things have a tendency to change quickly.