County libraries prepare to provide additional services

WELLINGTON COUNTY  – Local libraries are gearing up to begin providing more services as the province relaxes COVID-19 restrictions.

On May 14, the government announced Phase 1 of the province’s re-opening plan.

Libraries offering curbside pick-up are included in the list of businesses and services that are able to resume next week.

Wellington County library officials say the first step in resuming an abbreviated level of library services is to encourage patrons to begin returning library materials to exterior library book drops starting May 19.

“Wellington County library staff are working hard to retrieve borrowed items so we can begin our curbside pick-up service,” said Warden Kelly Linton in a May 15 press release.

“We are excited to offer this temporary service to our residents while our branches remain closed to the public under the provincial order.”

For safety reasons, all library materials that are returned during this time will need to be stored for 72 hours before being checked in.

Once library staff have dealt with the initial return of materials the library will allow patrons to place holds on materials for curbside pick-up, the release states.

The second step will be to allow for curbside pick-up of library materials at each of the county’s community libraries. The library will notify patrons when curbside service can begin.

All branches will be providing a “library fine amnesty” until the end of June.

This will allow library staff to waive fines for the first full month of service, but damaged or lost materials need to be discussed with library staff.

“The library will continue to keep everyone informed as decisions are made and plans confirmed,” said county councillor Mary Lloyd, information, heritage and seniors committee chair.

“We miss our patrons and want to ensure they are enjoying Wellington County’s digital resources and services while staying healthy.”

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