Saskatoon libraries help evacuees stay connected

The Saskatoon Public Library is working with forest fire evacuees to help them stay connected to their communities.

People can get library cards, check out books, use computers and internet

Michael Thackeray uses the computer at the Saskatoon Public Library Frances Morrison branch to stay connected to people in his home community of Montreal Lake. (CBC)

The Saskatoon Public Library is working with forest fire evacuees to help them stay connected to their communities.

The CEO of the Saskatoon Public Library says there is no way to restore the library to library loan system given provincial cuts. (CBC)
Carol Cooley is the director of libraries and CEO of the Saskatoon Public Library.

She told CBC News people who are staying in the city temporarily because of the fires can get a library card and check out books, or just use the computers and internet to stay in contact with loved ones.

Cooley said the library's mandate is to be a community builder.

"We see Saskatchewan as a community, and we're community builders," she said. "So if there's a need out there and we can do our role in assisting the evacuees, then we'll make our services available to them."

Michael Thackeray of Montreal Lake has been staying in a Saskatoon shelter for the past 10 days. He comes to the Frances Morrison Library periodically to check in with family and friends and stay updated about the situation at home.

"It's my only means of communication right now," he said. "There's still people back home sending pictures and updating us through Facebook." 

Thackery isn't sure when he'll be able to go home or what he'll go back to, but he said he's glad to have a way to stay in contact with loved ones.

Cooley said evacuees who don't have current identification to get library cards can still use the computers and internet by making special arrangements with staff.


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