By Stan Ashbee
A town’s library is a very important asset in any community. Maple Creek’s branch is no exception.
Closed since March 16, the Maple Creek Library’s branch librarian Violet Wong went back to work June 26.
Luckily, the Town Office was open during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, so residents could drop off returns.
“Basically, my first couple of weeks was catching up on the returns and the holds that were here, prior to shutdown,” Violet said. And just general cleaning, Violet added.
“Over three months, there’s a lot of dust,” Violet joked.
As far as the library in Maple Creek opening again, Violet is waiting for direction from Chinook Regional Library headquarters.
“They will give me directions, as to when I can open to the public. Currently, I’m doing curbside,” Violet pointed out.
Library card holders can give Violet a call at 306-662-3522 and a time can be arranged for pick up of materials.
“That way, I can control how many people are coming, so there’s no gatherings of people,” said Violet. “I have people just showing up and knocking on the window or I see somebody on the street and I’ll run the book out to them. Whatever works.”
Because some library card holders are not quite sure how things are working at the moment with taking out materials, “I’m being very flexible and just accommodating, as much as I can,” said Violet
From what Violet understands, and with information provided by the Government of Saskatchewan, there will be a few new protocols put into place once the library re-opens.
Protocols will include physical distancing, there will be a hand sanitizer station at the door, all the materials returned are quarantined for 72 hours before returning into circulation, and a limited number of card holders will be allowed into the branch at a time.
“I’ll have it marked out,” said Violet, adding there is also Plexiglass installed, as protection for staff. There will also be masks and gloves available for patrons
“Come use the library. Go online and order your books or leave me a message. I can order the books. Call me if you have questions,” Violet noted.
Violet said the library is also providing printing services. “They just have to e-mail me and I’ll print the documents for them if they need it, especially resumes. A lot of people are looking for work.”
Violet said it’s going to be different when the library re-opens.
“I won’t be able to have people gathering in the library at this time. The computers will be accessible, but will be scheduled and timed,” added Violet.