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Libraries in South Algonquin, Carlow Mayo and Tudor and Cashel share lockdown updates

·2 min read

When the current lockdown here in Ontario came into effect on Dec. 26, not much changed for some of the libraries in the area, specifically the South Algonquin Public Library with branches in Whitney and Madawaska, the Gilmour Library in Tudor and Cashel Township, and the Carlow Mayo Public Library in Hermon. The head librarians of these libraries give updates on how the lockdown has affected their operations. With the exception of the South Algonquin library branches, which have closed for the duration of the lockdown, they are continuing to offer curbside pickup of their materials for patrons to enjoy as they try to navigate this current lockdown due to COVID-19.

Charlene Alexander is the CEO and head librarian at the South Algonquin Public Library and supervises both branches in Whitney and Madawaska. She gives an update on what’s going on there with the lockdown.

“Both branches will be closing and staff are moving to work from home until the restrictions are lifted. We had been [before the lockdown] working towards providing in person services in addition to curbside pickup. This includes policy planning, barriers installed at the circulation desks, a maximum of three people at a time in the library, one public computer in use at a time, and one work area where patrons could use their own devices. During lockdown, library staff will focus on professional development and any projects that can be completed at home,” she says.

Leanne Golan is the CEO and head librarian at the Gilmour Library in Tudor and Cashel Township and gives the following update on their lockdown status.

“With the new lockdown, we are continuing to offer contactless curbside pickup only. There are no new initiatives at this time,” she says.

Carrie McKenzie is the CEO and head librarian at the Carlow Mayo Public Library, and says that they are still operating curbside, and that nothing is changing for them in that regard.

“Our hours are Tuesday and Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” she says.

While continuing to operate their curbside pickup, they have some new items in their inventory for patrons to check out.

“We are updating our adult non-fiction with personal hobbies such as free motion quilting and macrame hangers. We are also adding more non-fiction about becoming more self-sufficient by homesteading. Lots of canning and gardening,” she says. “If we are going to be at home we might as well enjoy it with healthy and engaging activities!”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times