Whistler Public Library will launch their new initiative, Library to Go, on Monday, June 1, 2020. This program will offer library patrons the chance to borrow physical items for the first time since the facility closed on March 16. Community members will be able to place holds on books and DVDs using the library’s website and pick them up at the library using the new, contactless procedure. Library To Go will be available Monday, Wednesday and Saturday between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; during this time, book drops will be accessible for materials return. Public Services staff will also be available via phone during these times to help with reader’s advisory, place holds, or provide technology assistance.
Whistler Public Library is a space with many physical touch points. During regular operations, patrons spend time relaxing in the space, attend in-person programs, and browse through and borrow from the collection. Each of these interactions must be evaluated and modified to ensure the community and staff will feel safe using the facility. Library to Go is just the first step in the process of restoring in-person services at the library. As Library Director Elizabeth Tracy expressed: “We miss you, we can’t wait to see you, and we are working as quickly as we can to put things in place so we can safely offer you library services in a new way.” The reintroduction of services is proceeding with the full support of the library’s Board of Trustees; Board Chair Christine Young shared that, “as trustees of the Whistler Public Library, we are excited to see these phased changes being handled in such a thoughtful and flexible manner.”
In the meantime, library staff have worked hard since March 16 to bring many of their services online, and these virtual offerings will continue as the reintroduction of in-person services is underway. Staff can be reached by email seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of the library’s popular events have been moved online, and the line-up of events continues to serve a wide range of ages and demographics, from Virtual Storytimes to Community Book Club to Meditation classes. And, as always, the library has a wide variety of digital resources available to users who want to download books, films, music and more, or who want to learn a new skill.
Libraries are included in Phase 2 of British Columbia’s Restart Plan. There are 71 public libraries in British Columbia, and each library is developing a plan to reintroduce physical library services that will meet the needs of its community. Libraries are working hard to make services available again and will open when they have developed health and safety protocols to protect both the public and staff. Because every library and every community has unique considerations, the timing of each facility’s phased restoration of services will differ.
To learn more about Library to Go, visit whistlerlibrary.ca/library-to-go.