Calgary Public Library reopens 6 branches amid COVID-19 pandemic

As the province continues to slowly relaunch its economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Calgary Public Library has reopened six of its 21 branches in the city.

The library was given the green light to reopen on June 12, alongside many other businesses in the province, as Alberta moved forward with Phase 2 of its relaunch plan.

Read more: Calgary library prepares for reopening, launches curbside pickup program

On June 23, three library locations opened in Crowfoot, Fish Creek and Forest Lawn, and on Tuesday, three more libraries resumed in-person services.

The city’s central library, Giuffre Family and Signal Hill are also now open in Calgary.

The libraries were initially closed in mid-March after the city declared a state of local emergency due to the ongoing pandemic.

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Now that in-person services have resumed at select locations, officials noted the library experience won’t be the same as before.

Read more: Edmonton Public Library opens 3 branches for pickups, some laid-off staff recalled

“The library has implemented physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols to create a safe and clean environment for staff and the public,” the library wrote on its website on June 26.

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“All locations will have limited capacity and reduced hours of operation.”

Calgary’s new Library at Home program
Calgary’s new Library at Home program

While some branches are welcoming back visitors, not all in-person services are available.

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Officials said all exterior book return chutes and after-hour returns, room bookings, book donations and play materials in early learning centres remain closed to residents.

Available services at open branches include printing, desktop computer access, collection access and limited seating.

Anyone who is sick or showing any symptoms of COVID-19 is asked to stay home. Visitors are also encouraged to wear a mask when attending a library location and limit their visits to one hour.

Read more: Calgary library goes fine-free to support community amid COVID-19

The library is also reminding residents that as of July 1, the organization will be going fine-free, with all existing fees being waved.

The initial announcement was made in mid-May and aims to create financial relief and barrier-free access for all residents. Officials noted that a rise in digital use was also a factor in moving to this new model.

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