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Library cautiously moving toward full re-opening

By Don Fennell

Published 11:35 PDT, Tue September 21, 2021

Last Updated: 4:10 PDT, Tue September 21, 2021

Richmond public libraries are moving toward full resumption of services—but slowly.

Continuing to follow all provincial and municipal health orders, the wearing of face masks remains mandatory. And the library is limiting capacity to 50 per cent at all branches, which includes “sit-and-stay seating” with increased computer access to support patrons. Proof of vaccination is not required, but library staff is actively supporting community members to obtain their BC Vaccine Card, says library spokesperson Stephanie Vokey.

Vokey says the library will also continue to offer online and outdoor programs this fall, and to increase access for all. She notes in-person indoor programming will also resume. “These registered-only in-person opportunities allow for individuals and families to reconnect with each other and with library staff in small group settings,” she says.

Vokey says the library is planning a full lineup of programs for fall. New programs and returning favourites include book clubs for all ages,  computer basics at Ironwood for seniors aged 55 and over, digital animation programs for all ages, and a creative writing series with author Dan Bar-el for school-aged children.

“We are also pleased to announce that Storytimes will once again be available in-person,” Vokey says. “Children and their families can enjoy Storytimes at all RPL branches. Family Storytimes are held in-person several days a week and all require registration.”

The library is also excited to welcome Sonya Lalli, this year’s writer-in-residence, who will be introduced at a small meet and greet event at the Brighouse branch on Sept. 25. Registration for this event is limited so interested community members are encouraged to sign up today to secure their spot. 

Library branches are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends. The public is invited to use the facilities to study, use a computer, pick up holds, browse collections, and check out materials. The library adds new titles to its print and digital collections on a weekly basis, including best sellers. 

The Hamilton Community Centre, where the library has a book dispenser to serve and support that community, has recently extended its hours and is now accessible from  7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends.

Finally, the library’s new Your Next Great Read service is being touted by Vokey and staff as a “great option” for customers wanting a selection of library materials that are suitable for their interests, but are not sure what to look for. 

“Library staff will help you find your next great read, and will create a personalized booklist to suit your individual reading preferences,” Vokey says.

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