Staff and volunteers in Turner Valley’s community hub are working to keep patrons entertained despite closing the doors Monday to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Sheep River Library’s approximately 3,000 members can no longer enter the facility to check out reading material, movies, outdoor gear and tools, yet library manager Jan Burney said they can access a plethora of e-resources that will have them learning a new language to accessing the Alberta curriculum for Grades 3-12 throughout the Marigold Library System.
“Now people are at home with their kids so there are parents that are looking at resources to keep their kids occupied,” said Burney. “There are only so much Netflix you can binge watch. The Marigold e-resource page accesses ebooks, emovies and digital newspaper and magazines.”
Burney said the decision was made Sunday night to close the facility and suspend programs and circulation services until at least April 14, following the Province’s announcement that it would close schools until September.
“We decided in a meeting last Thursday that if the schools close we would close because we can’t be a place where kids congregate,” she said. “Every day after school at least a dozen kids are here playing board games or on the computers or chatting.”
This means the approximately 40 groups that meet at the library have been temporarily suspended, including preschool literacy programs, book clubs, poetry and songwriters classes and Bible studies, as well as rental opportunities for occasions like birthday parties, Burney said.
“It’s very quiet and we miss our patrons,” she said. “We miss the little kids coming in and the groups that come in to meet. It emphasizes what a massive community hub we are and when we don’t have that we miss it.”
Early this week, Marigold Library System prohibited materials from being transported between facilities.
“It’s about minimizing contact,” she said. “We’re taking all the precautions."
Trollies will be set out in the front of the building Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with various used books for people to take, Burney said.
“Some of them are discards, some are donations that were too old or that we already had,” she said. “Normally we would sell them for 25 cents an item.”
Anyone needing help accessing the e-resources can contact the Sheep River Library at 403-933-3278.
For more information on the library’s services or to access e-resources visit https://www.sheepriverlibrary.ca/
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