In new signs that we’re slowly but surely getting back to something resembling normality, there have been two new announcements Friday that should make social distancing easier in the days to come. First, you will soon be able to borrow physical materials from the library again, and if that doesn’t float your boat, you will be able to actually float your boat in Guelph Lake this weekend.
For people eager to start borrowing again, the Guelph Public Library has announced that they will be initiating curbside pick-up on June 1. Exact details are forthcoming, but the library is encouraging people to start putting hold requests on physical books and media that they might like to borrow in the near future.
“We have missed seeing our patrons and are happy to take this first step back to providing library services in person again,” said Library CEO Steven Kraft in a statement. “We will also continue to provide high-quality digital services and virtual programs that have become so important during this closure.”
In the meantime, if you are still in possession of library materials, you can start returning them on Monday at 9 am at all the library branches with the exception of the West End Rec Centre and the Bookmobile community stops. Part of the new borrowing model will be time to disinfect all materials before they’re put back in circulation, which means there could be a longer turnaround time for some materials than people might usually expect.
“All items returned to the library will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours and sterilized before they are put back into circulation – according to provincial health guidelines. Our first and foremost concern is ensuring the safety of our staff and the public,” said Kraft.
There will also be a grace period for people with library materials so that they can return them any time without fear of incurring late fees; no new fines or fees will be charged to a library account from March 15 through to Tuesday September 8.
If being outdoors is more your speed, then the Grand River Conservation Authority has taken some further steps to re-open following last weekend’s limited opening of some trails and conservation sites. This weekend, it will be boaters who will get the chance to enjoy area waterways, and they will be doing it ahead of schedule.
“While it was initially anticipated that boat launches at Belwood Lake, Conestogo Lake, Guelph Lake, Laurel Creek, and Shade’s Mills would not reopen until May 30, GRCA staff have been able to install all required public safety infrastructure around dams and prepare these facilities ahead of schedule,” said the GRCA’s release.
Boat launches and docks will be ready for boaters at all five of those locations, and fishing will be permitted at the reservoirs. You will however need your own boat as canoe and kayak rentals will be unavailable, also washrooms, gatehouses, picnic areas, playgrounds, and beaches will remain closed. There will also be no garbage receptacles available, so pack up your trash.
The reopened GRCA areas will be open from 8 am to 6 pm, and access might be restricted if the area gets too busy. Brant, Byng Island, Elora Gorge, Elora Quarry and Pinehurst Lake conservation areas and Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area remain closed for the time being.