This has probably been the most frequently asked question when I have ventured out to the grocery store, gone on a walk or popped into the Post Office. For the most part the answer has been “we’ll have to wait and see”, or “during stage 2 of the provincial plan” or “whenever we get the go ahead from the Provincial Library Services Branch.” I am happy to report that I can answer that question now. The Library Board decided to have staff return to work on June 22. After a few days of catching up we started offering curbside service on Wednesday June 24. This allowed patrons to put books that are currently available in the Sheep River collection on hold. A time was then booked through the website to come and pick them up. All you need to know about curbside delivery is posted at www.sheepriverlibrary.ca. If you are having trouble accessing the site then please call 403-933-3278 and we will be happy to help you. We will continue to offer curbside service once the library is open for vulnerable patrons who do not wish to enter public spaces. We also started receiving items from other locations and new material from Marigold Library System. Gita and Teagan have been processing these items as fast as they can so that they will be available to you. We have also been preparing the facility so that it will be safe for patrons to enter and use. We have installed glass partitions at the circulation desk and between some of the staff work areas. We are awaiting the arrival of masks, gloves, sanitizer, disinfectant spray, and floor decals to ensure proper physical distancing in the stacks. We have had to rearrange some of the furniture and public computers to put space between them. This has meant that an opening date before July 6 is unlikely. Once the proper equipment and procedures are in place, we look forward to having people back in the building. We truly have missed interacting with all our patrons and volunteers.
During our almost three-month closure, we took the time to update some things in the library. Using grant money received from the Millarvillle Horticultural Society and Crescent Point, we have made some improvements to the Reading Garden, installing privacy screens to make it a more sheltered and private space. We had the large program/gallery space painted since this is one of the rare times that it was empty for an extended period. New security cameras were installed throughout the library to better keep patrons and the facility safe.
As we venture forth into each new stage, we will be evaluating the situation and making changes where necessary. At this time, we do not anticipate running any programs or having large group gatherings until September, providing we get the green light from all relevant agencies to do so. If you have any questions about a program you were registered for and wish to run, then please call Jan at the number above.