The library re-opens on July 7th with modified hours and service levels until phase 3 is announced by the province.
Regarding the opening date
When the province announced that phase 2 was going to be occur earlier than expected we were not ready. Much like many other facilities in Alberta we were given a package on re-opening and conditions we need to meet in order to do so. The decision to not re-open until July was based upon a realistic assessment of how long it would take to complete a hazard assessment, convene with stakeholders, and make a variety of engineering, administrative and procedural changes to comply with provincial guidelines.
New Protocol and Safeguards
There are 9 specific changes to protocol detailed on our website but the most important to be aware of, ones which we will be reminding every visitors upon arrival are the following:
Children under 12 must be adult accompanied. Families may bring up to 1 child (< 12) per adult (+16).
Maintain 2 meters social distance by following directional arrows and distance markers.
Because of the high touch nature of libraries, all visitors must sanitize their hands before entry.
Please limit handling library items. Do not re-shelve items after removing them from the shelf.
Why so restrictive on kids?
We have received some feedback from the public discussing why we are being more restrictive on children, maximum occupancy, and sanitizing. The library board considered this issue with great concern, and decided now is not the time for entire families to visit the facility, and that this is a reasonable measure to ensure we are following provincial guidelines. We look forward to phase 3 where we will return to a less restrictive protocol.
Many libraries across Canada have heard concerns from their patrons about the risk of bringing contaminated library material into their homes. One library even had an issue with patrons microwaving books in an attempt to sanitize them. Vermilion Library is taking all precautions recommended by Alberta Health in quarantining our collection and ensuring it is safe to borrow by our members. Please do not wipe the books with cleaner or other sanitizing chemicals. The best way to sanitize items like books, movies, and audiobooks is time. An item quarantined for 72 hours will have dramatic reduction in the risk of transmission and we do that for every item taken on the shelf to ensure it is safe to borrow. The complete list of new rules and limited services can be found on our website https://www.vermilionpubliclibrary.ca/covid.