(The youth section at the Stittsville Library Branch listing March Break activities. The branch closed on March 17, 2020 due to COVID-19.)
It was recently announced the many library branches will be opening up again to the public on August 17 – Stittsville branch being one of them. The team are looking forward to seeing the familiar and new faces of their clients again.
Although the branch has been open for drop-offs and pick-ups, the team told us, “Since reopening we’ve received many kind words from the public. We’re happy to be back, it’s great to open up the space to the community.”
We reached out to Gillian Johnston, Stittsville Library Supervisor, and the staff to get their feelings on the full re-opening and they were pleased to share what they have missed and are looking forward to upon opening their doors again.
“Like many organizations opening up again, it’s falling back into routines and it’s learning new ones. During the earlier stages of taking returns and providing holds at the door in brown bags, it was something. It felt good to see someone’s expression when they accepted their bag of holds, or the relief they expressed at finally being able to return their books! Moving on to in-branch pickups meant the public had a chance to see their library again in a limited fashion. They could see for themselves we were here for them and the library space was intact.
“Starting Monday, August 17th, it’s not the library experience you left in March, but it’s browsing the books on the shelf, it’s booking computers and using the printer, it’s being able to ask questions in person about your account. It’s not the same in that computer bookings are limited, we are all wearing masks, we ask that you browse then enjoy your checked books at home. But it’s connecting with one another again. It’s a start and the feeling of promise that comes along with it. It’s finding your social bookmark and reconnecting again.
“Staff missed doing this work, missed seeing our customers. All the relationships you create from regular conversations. They’re picking those conversations up again, catching up with people. We have distancing stickers on the floor, we have sanitizer here, there, and everywhere, and we love seeing all the beautiful mask patterns people are using. It’s different, but we’re all smiling beneath the masks.”
It will be a different experience the next time you visit the library, but one thing can certainly be counted on – the same friendly familiar faces and exceptional service will be in place so everyone will feel comfortable during their visit.
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