Colchester-East Hants Public Library branches to open next week

Truro engineering firm PDI Engineering Group Inc. has been awarded Honourable Mention for the 2018 Engineers Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governors Award for Excellence in Engineering for its work on the Colchester-East Hants Public Library and Truro Civic Square project (Photo courtesy of PDI Engineering Group Inc.)

All five branches of the Colchester-East Hants Public Library are scheduled to reopen next week.

In-person library services will resume on Tuesday, including in-person holds pick-up, browsing access to books and other physical collections, drop-in computer access, and in-person staff assistance.

Branch libraries have been closed since the provincial state of emergency was declared in March, at which point they shifted to providing a number of virtual programs and services as well as a considerable online collection.

Chief Executive Officer Tiffany Bartlett says, "We've created a multi-stage reopening roadmap that will allow us to dial up or dial down library service levels in response to changing pandemic conditions."

The following public safety precautions will be in effect when branch libraries reopen:

  • There will be a limit on the number of patrons allowed in the library at one time;
  • A staff “navigator” will welcome patrons and provide guidance regarding the new protocols;
  • Furniture has been removed and rearranged to allow for ample physical distancing;
  • New signage, floor markings, and visual cues will be posted throughout the branches;
  • Computer use will be limited to one hour per day per person. Computers are sanitized between each use;
  • All returned library materials are quarantined for 72 hours;
  • Library staff will provide support while maintaining the required physical distance;
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed at service points;
  • The wearing of masks by patrons is encouraged but not required;
  • Library staff have access to masks and gloves;
  • High-touch surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

Library Take-Out and Expanded Books by Mail, contact-free services which debuted in June, will continue.

All due dates for items checked out prior to the library closure have been extended through July 31st and fines have also been waived.