Public Library Services During Lockdown.
COVID-19 and the provincial lockdown have meant libraries have changed the way they serve the public.
As of today (April 28) all branches of the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Library are temporarily closed to public in-person visits by order of NS Public Health. But library services and programs are still available. Beginning Thursday, April 29, libraries are ready to serve – online, by phone or email, and through outdoor pick-up or Borrow-by-Mail service.
“Although the library’s doors are temporarily closed, we have learned a lot from the experiences of the Spring 2020 pandemic restrictions and have developed many ways for the public to continue to enjoy, and to be able to safely access our library services and programs.” says Chief Librarian Eric Stackhouse.
Library users can request books and other materials, by title or subject, by calling or emailing their nearest library and asking to outdoor pickup. “When you arrive at the branch, during regular open hours, you can call or ring the doorbell and let staff members know you have arrived. The materials will be placed outside for you to pick-up.”
All returned library materials are placed in quarantine for 72 hours (the recommended time to ensure COVID-19 is no longer present). Book Returns (drop boxes) are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For rural residents, Borrow-by-Mail is available free of charge with no mailing fees – call Regional Library Headquarters at 1 (866) 779-7761 for more information and to register.
Obtaining a free library card is easy. Simply visit www.parl.ns.ca for details.
Anyone can also ask library staff members to help research a topic, find information from government websites, and help refer other services and programs. The library can also provide basic technology assistance for electronic devices, computers and help with how to use eReaders.
The Regional library has also invested in several additional new online services, such as Ancestry.ca, LinkedInLearning.com, PressReader and more, and all are now available through the library’s website, www.parl.ns.ca .
If access to High Speed internet is challenging – all of PARL’s ibraries have free broadband Wi-Fi, available 24 hours/seven days a week, inside and outdoors around the library. In addition, with assistance from Community Services – each library location has several iPads available for clients that can be borrowed and used in the vicinity of the library’s WiFi – helping everyone to keep connected.