Library branches reopen with new hours

It has been an exciting week at the Prince Edward County Public Library.

As soon as the Premier announced that libraries could reopen in Stage 3, phones at all branches of the library began to ring with patrons enthusiastically asking when we would be opening the doors. As of Friday, July 17, we have reopened – slowly, to ensure we are doing it safely. While the buildings have been closed, we have been consulting with Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health regularly on what we needed to have in place to be prepared to reopen as soon as possible.

We will continue to offer curbside pickup and mailing of library materials. If you don’t know what you want, we’ll pick it out for you. You will be able to choose how you would prefer to receive your library materials based on what is convenient and comfortable for you.

For now, we will have limited open hours. Please visit peclibrary.org or call (613) 476-5962 to check the hours at your branch. The Archives will be open by appointment only, and they will ask you to book 48 hours in advance so that they can have materials ready for you.

You can expect that many things will be the same when you return to the library. Friendly staff will be available to help answer your questions, assist you in finding books and more. You will be able to browse the shelves and washrooms will be available if you need them. You are welcome to use a computer, print, scan and fax as usual, with a 30 minute time limit for computer use. Some things have changed, however. Per the municipality’s bylaw, you will be expected to wear a face covering, and we’ll be wearing masks & face shields that our tech person David made with the library’s 3D Printer. We have removed things that are difficult to sanitize, including newspapers and most magazines. There are no toys out, and we have removed extra chairs to ensure that there is space for physical distancing. We will keep track of who enters and for how long to allow for contact tracing by public health if needed, and limiting the number of people inside at any one time. We will continue to offer our programs online, including the exciting talk between David Frum and Dr. Thomas Harrison on August 6 at 2 p.m. The Picton Branch Library’s patio is available and we are excited to be able to make the space available to any musicians who would like it – we have enjoyed delightful afternoons filled with the music of Reggie (Ruth Dwight & Mario Panacci) and Telegraph Narrows.

If you’re a musician who would like to use the patio please send an email to liz@peclibrary.org or call the Picton Branch at (613) 476-5962.

The staff from all six branches of the Library and the Archives have been meeting regularly online to share ideas and information and we have frequently mentioned how much we miss having you in the buildings. Our libraries are at their best when they are filled with people reading, learning and borrowing library materials and we are so excited to see you.

-Liz Zylstra