Local libraries set to reopen for in-person browsing, computer access

Guelph Public Library is open, Kitchener Public Library and Waterloo Public Library will open this week and Idea Exchange is set to welcome people back to in-person browsing or computer access on Monday. Region of Waterloo Library continues to work on details for reopening.

Region of Waterloo Library continues to work out reopening details

Libraries are reopening in Waterloo region, Guelph and Wellington County this week and next as the communities are all now in the "red" zone of the province's colour-coded COVID-19 framework. (Michael McArthur/CBC)

People will be able to resume browsing the stacks at their local library as more in-person services are offered.

Waterloo region, Guelph and Wellington County all entered the "red" zone of the province's colour-coded COVID-19 framework on Tuesday, which means libraries can offer more services including browsing, computer access and study seats.

Guelph Public Library reopened all but the Scottsdale branch on Wednesday. It reminded people not to enter the library if they have COVID-19 symptoms or may have been in contact with someone who has the virus. As well, people were reminded to wash their hands, use hand sanitizer and "follow all directional signs and floor markings."

For Kitchener Public Library, all library locations, except for Pioneer Park Community Library, will be open on Thursday. Pioneer Park will open on Monday, Feb. 22.

Curb and Carry, the library's contact-free curbside pickup service, will continue to be available at all locations.

Quarantining of materials

Waterloo Public Library will open on Friday.

"When we re-open, masks continue to be required and customers should self-screen before coming to the library," the library says on its website.

The library noted it, and all other area libraries, are moving to a 24-hour isolation period for returned library items as of Friday.

"For our customers, this change means a better library experience — you won't have to wait as long for library items while maintaining everyone's health and safety," the library said.

"Until we have further direction and information provided, we will not completely eliminate the quarantining of materials, but look forward to shortening the quarantine time which will keep library materials moving more efficiently for our customers."

Time limits and masks

The Idea Exchange in Cambridge will open the library and gallery for public access start on on Monday.

Staff note there are occupancy limits at each location and people may be asked to wait to go inside.

"Time limits have been established for use of study spaces, computer workstations, and other digital equipment. Advanced bookings for these services may be required," the Idea Exchange said in a release.

As well, contact-free pick-ups will continue.

Wellington County Library will also open on Monday for computer and printing services only and it is by appointment. Curbside pick up will continue for borrowing items.

"You will need to book a time in advance with local branch staff. Please note that your temperature will be checked on arrival, a screening form must be filled out and masks are required in all county facilities," Wellington County Library says on its website.

Region working on plan

The Region of Waterloo Library says it plans to release more details on when it will reopen to in-person services later this week.

Until then, current library services remain unchanged and people can still do "library takeout," the website says.


  • An earlier version of this story indicated Wellington County Library branches would open for in-person services on Monday. The library is open for computer and printing services only and it is by appointment.
    Feb 18, 2021 11:20 AM ET


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