The Red Deer Public Library isn’t ready to reopen its branches, but material can still be taken out, starting Saturday.
Library customers can begin placing holds on library materials for curbside pickup at all three library branches, said chief executive officer Shelley Ross.
Holds can be placed through the library’s website, or by calling 403-346-4576. Designated pickup hours are Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The library is also launching its Virtual Summer Reading Club for all ages on Monday.
Ross said her staff wanted to get this program up and running, since they know it’s important to many Red Deerians, including students who benefit from more reading over the summer.
Although libraries are part of the province’s Stage 2 reopenings that can start on Friday, Ross said many complexities have to be resolved before the library can welcome the public back for in-person service.
“Our first concern is the safety of our patrons. The last thing I want is to be the reason anyone gets sick,” said Ross.
Among the many dilemmas is what to do about the small elevator in the downtown branch, which is used by many seniors, but leaves no room for social distancing.
At the Dawe branch, there are other logistical problems, such as the parking lot paving project that’s now underway, and that the library’s washrooms must be accessed through the still-closed G.H. Dawe Recreation Centre.
Ross said plans are being developed to gradually and safely increase in-person library services.