GUELPH POLITICAST #223 – The Coming of the Curbside Library

The library is the ideal paradox for the present pandemic: we’re all stuck at home looking for new stuff to read and watch, which is a situation ideally suited for the library, but because of the public health emergency, it is wildly irresponsible to have people visit the library and handle various books, and other things. But good news, we will soon be able to borrow from the library again. How will they do it?

Like most City of Guelph facilities, the Guelph Public Library closed its doors to the public on March 15. That was right on the brink of March Break, which is a time when the library rolls out all sorts of programs and activities, but there are people all over Royal City who make the library part of their daily or weekly routine, whether they’re using the computers, reading the paper, or using it as a place to study quietly. And then there are the thousands of items borrowed every year…

Even though the library is still, essentially, in business with a variety of online resources, people have had to get by without the library’s vast collection of books, DVDs, and periodicals, but that will soon change. The Ontario government has loosened restrictions, and the Guelph Library system is currently in the process of preparing for curbside pick-up of physical books and media, but how will life at the library change as we continue to recover from COVID?

That’s one of the many questions that Steve Kraft, the CEO of the Guelph Public Library, will answer on this week’s podcast. He will talk about how the library has handled the demand for digital materials during the pandemic, how they’re preparing for curbside pick-up, and the intricacies involved in creating an entirely new way of borrowing. He also talks about what a physically distant library might look like when it re-opens, and whether or not libraries will see more visits once the state of emergency is lifted. Plus, he will talk directly about whether or not the fiscal developments from COVID-19 at city hall might have an effect on the construction of the new main library on Baker Street.

So let’s talk about pandemic life at the Guelph Public Library on this week’s Guelph Politicast!

The Guelph Public Library is looking to have curbside pick-up ready to implement on June 1, and if you are presently in possession of library materials, you can now return them to any of the library’s branches with the exception of the bookmobile, and the West End Rec Centre branch. To keep up to date with everything happening at the library, visit their website.

The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here, or download them on your favourite podcast app at iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Spotify.

Also, when you subscribe to the Guelph Politicast channel and you will also get an episode of Open Sources Guelph every Monday, and an episode of End Credits every Friday.

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