Local libraries have reopened following the Alberta government announced March 1 that they could again allow patrons inside with up to 15 per cent capacity.
The Vulcan Municipal Library reopened on Monday, March 8. The library is open for its regular hours of Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We have a lot of happy people, including us!” wrote Connie Clement, the manager of Vulcan’s library.
Many local residents need to use the library’s computers, printers and fax machines.
“We have been trying our best to help out but this will make things much easier,” wrote Clement. “I am sure there are some patrons who are content to order their items online and come in and use curbside but I also have a lot of patrons who are browsers and really like the luxury of walking in the stacks and looking for their choice of books or movies.”
She added patrons have questions about their devices and need some assistance with those as well, and library staff can once again be more of a help.
“We are looking forward to seeing our patrons again and that everybody is doing OK,” wrote Clement.
Curbside service will still be available upon request, and staff will continue to do deliveries as needed.
The March 1 announcement came as a pleasant surprise to a couple of local library managers.
Arrowwood Municipal Library manager Sherry Malmberg said the government’s reopening plan was to keep libraries closed at least until the end of March. She also said she wasn’t sure when the library could reopen following the March 1 announcement.
“I guess it means now!” she said March 3.
Arrowwood’s library is open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, from noon to 5 p.m., and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Four patrons are allowed inside the library at a time. The computers are not available at this time, but Malmberg said she be OK with someone using them to do something quickly like printing a resume.
“They’re not open to play games or hang out,” she said, adding the library has always had a limit of one hour for its computers.
People can connect to the library’s wireless internet connection outside the building, and people have been sitting in their vehicles to use it, said Malmberg.
Curbside pickup continues to be available, she said.
Katie Koch, manager of the Lomond Community Library, said libraries weren’t technically supposed to open until the third stage of the province’s reopening plan.
But she wasn’t complaining about the library being able to open its doors to the public earlier than expected.
“It’s nice,” Koch said.
Lomond’s library is open Mondays from 5-8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Curbside pickup continues to be available.
The library’s computers are available for use, said Koch.
No more than around five people are allowed in the library at a time, not including staff.
The Milo Library reopened on March 2, reads a post on the library’s Facebook page. Physical distancing, reduced capacity and hand sanitizing rules apply, the post reads.
The Champion Municipal Library also reopened March 2. The library is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursday (closed from 1-1:30 p.m.), Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 5-8 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Champion library’s curbside service continues to be available.
The Carmangay Library is working on a re-opening plan, reads a March 3 post on the library’s Facebook page. In the meantime, the library continues to be open for curbside pickup on Tuesdays from 2-6 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.
“Thank you for your patience while we figure things out,” reads the post.