The Castor Public Library will soon reopen to the public, but things will operate a little differently than before. Kevin J. Sabo photo

Castor Public Library to reopen in early July

The users of the system’s CloudLibrary ebook platform saw an increase in users in March and April

By Kevin J. Sabo For the Advance

Castor Public Library to reopen in early July

By Kevin J Sabo

For the Advance

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With libraries being allowed to open with phase two of the government of Alberta’s economic relaunch, plans are underway to get the Castor Public Library open to the public again.

Currently, plans are for the library to be opened by Monday, July 6, though that may change pending further changes from the province. When the library does reopen, it will still be with reduced hours, and for the first while anyway, will be appointment only.

“I can expect a rush,” said Castor Librarian Wendy Bozek.

“Monday is the day to bring books back…Fridays (people) can come in, pick up books and pick up holds.”

The reason for only allowing books to come back to come back on Mondays is that all returns must be allowed to sit for 72-hours prior to re-entering the library system circulation, per the Parkland Regional Library guidelines. Clients dropping off books on Monday’s will be able to pick up any holds that may be in the library for them, however the browsing of the library will not be permitted.

“These are the rules and regulations, if we don’t follow them, we get shut down,” said Bozek.

Castor’s public library is one in a network of fifty libraries through the Parkland Regional Library system. Through the Parkland Regional Libraries membership, patrons are able to access over 650,000 separate items in the Parkland systems, as well as access to items from library systems province wide. Parkland Regional Library also has a diverse online presence, which saw a tremendous increase in use during the shutdown.

The users of the system’s CloudLibrary ebook platform saw an increase in in users in March and April, with 474 members borrowing 13,743 ebooks, up 155 per cent from the January and February totals of 8,861 ebooks borrowed. Solaro, the Alberta education curriculum support service saw an increase of 873 per cen in March and April compared to the January and February numbers.

While the library was closed to patrons, Bozek was in the library a couple days a week, checking email and telephone messages, as well as helping patrons access the e-services.

“I probably had 10 to 12 people call looking for help.” Said Bozek.

“It’s because of this virus, I mean, a lot of people, what do they do? The kids are avid readers, seniors that do have access to it, that’s all that they have. There’s no sports, there’s nothing for them to do.”

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