Library Reopening Plan: First Phase

"Reopening" in a pandemic: Library services will look very different than they used to... at least for the next little while. Here's what you need to know about returning to the Medicine Hat Public Library this summer.
Posted on 08 June 2020 by Gillian.

Libraries are in Stage 2 of the Alberta Government Relaunch Strategy. As of this writing, the launch date of Stage 2 is still TBD. The government website lists libraries as being able to open "with restrictions" but we don't know what those restrictions are. So, here's what we've planned for our reopening so far, all of which is subject to change as we get more information from the government. 

No-Contact Pick-up Service to Continue Indefinitely

We launched our no-contact pick-up service just a few weeks after we had to close our doors to the public. The service has been wildly successful with ~1,500 pick-ups completed so far! Because this service has been such a great success, and because we want to continue to provide individuals, and especially high-risk individuals, with the safest possible way of borrowing our materials, we've decided to keep this service running. And here's another TBD for you: We'll keep this service running for the foreseeable future with no end date scheduled yet. 

To access this service, call us at 403-502-8525 Monday - Friday from 10am - 5pm.

Limited In-Library Services to Launch on July 6

We're excited to reopen our doors soon so that we can see your bright and smiling faces - though many of your smiles will likely be hidden behind masks - but nonetheless, we can't wait to see you! 

Our tentative "reopening" date is Monday, July 6. I put "reopening" in quotation marks because for us, "reopening" doesn't mean that we'll be back to regular operations as soon as those automatic doors slide open. "Reopening," at least for the first little while, will be limited to browsing our collections of books, movies, video games, etc. A limited number of patrons will be allowed in the doors at one time and we will ask that you try to stay for only 20-minutes so that we can safely get everyone in who want to browse in a day. Public internet access will not be available when the doors first reopen.

Another thing that will be different under this first phase of "reopening" is our hours of operation. Our hours at first will be limited to 2pm - 6pm, Monday - Friday. The hours in which you will be able to call us and come for a no-contact pick-up will be extended to 10am - 6pm, Monday - Friday. 

Kinsmen Children's Library to Remain Closed

Thanks to a generous $159,000 donation made by our local Kinsmen Club, we will once again be disrupting service in the Kinsmen Children's Library in order to complete some much-needed renovations. We very much encourage you to continue borrowing our children's books and other materials through our no-contact pick-up service. 

And another bit of sad news: Our regular TD Summer Reading Club will not be able to proceed this year. But alas, the fine folks who organize this summer reading program have been working very hard for the last few months to create virtual delivery of the club. Registration opens in 6 days here. We're also working on a little online summer reading game of our own (which we're very excited about!!) - details to come soon. 

Memberships, Fines, Fees, etc.

Still have materials at home from before our closure? We've extended all due dates to Friday, July 31. If you can return your items before that date, please do so using the outdoor book drops. If not, don't worry because we've waived all late fines for now. 

Did you sign-up online for a temporary membership? Great! We're extending those beyond the 90-Day Free Trial period with an expiry date of Monday, August 31. We've also used this date as the expiry for all memberships that were set to expire since mid-March. 

If your card is expiring soon or has previously expired, we'd love to get you renewed for another year. You can fill out our online Renewal Form or give us a call at 403-502-8525. For those of you who signed up for the free trial online, you'll have to come to the Library to convert your trial into a full membership. We hope to convert you before summer is over! 

Please Visit, But Stay Home If You're Sick

When those automatic doors slide back open, please help us to keep our staff and patrons safe by staying home if you're sick. We look forward to seeing you again soon! 

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