The Mary C. Moore Public Library in Lacombe reopened on July 2 — with many COVID-19 precautions still in place.
Head Librarian Christina Petrisor said the opening was made possible due to help from the community, including Blindman Brewing who donated 20 L of hand sanitizer and Lacombe Ford — who donated 12 Plexiglas dividers for the library’s public computers.
“You can now book one hour, per person of computer time per day. We have had a few people in and since July 2, we have circulated or renewed 1156 items for people in the community. I am overwhelmed,” Petrisor said.
Computer users must arrive five minutes before their allotted time in order for the library to properly register them in. Staff are masked throughout the day, but will be unable to assist anyone at the computers who chose to not wear one themselves. Petrisor said she and her staff are also able to handle print and fax jobs for their guests.
”We also have a new debit machine we can bring tot he back door if you feel uncomfortable coming in. We also have an entrance and exit into the library heavily marked and we working under the current COVID-19-restrictions,” she said.
Currently, guests are not able to enter the book collection — but Petrisor and her staff are working with guests to accommodate for the necessary COVID-19 precaution.
“We are isolating everything for 72 hours and we only have select members who go into the stacks and pull items,” she said.
Petrisor said the main thing is to only come to the library when you have a held item on file. There is currently no sitting space in the library other than for pre-booked computer time. Patrons can access their account and the e-library online.
“If you do not have Internet, please call us at 403 782 3433. We will order your books and we will call you when they arrive. I will gladly drop things off curbside if you are unable to make the trip here,” she said.
Currently the library hours are 12 p.m. until 6 p.m., but Petrisor hopes to be able to extend those hours soon. Due to the hours, the library currently only has been able to return six out of their usual 13 staff members.
“We will be going on two-week cycles to evaluate whether we cam get our collection open,” she said
The library has been open to start back some of their programming and those have been very well attended.
“We are running a paint night, we ran our first craft night last week and we wish we had our childrens programs. We currently don’t, but we do have website dedicated towards our Summer Reading Program and we also have craft kids for ages 2-18. Every Monday will have a new craft,” she said.
Ultimately, Petrisor wants the community to know that they are working to bring material to them.
“You can phone us and tell us what you or your children are interested in. We are ready to do that because we know we have to be everyone’s browsers,” she said.
She added the library misses seeing everyone in the community and that she is grateful to the support they have seen from the community.
“Our soft opening is because of the community and these businesses coming forward during a time of need. City council and administration have been so supportive and want to see us back to normal. We are looking forward to that in the future,” she said.