Saskatchewan libraries keeping busy as remote pickup begins

Library staff across the province were scrambling this week as requests came flooding in for new materials.

Curbside pickup now allowed as part of COVID-19 recovery plan

Library staff at Saskatoon's Cliff Wright Branch Library were busy as they placed held books inside paper bags for patrons to pick up. (Saskatoon Public Library/Submitted)

Library staff across the province were scrambling this week as they began fulfilling requests as they came flooding in for new materials.

Libraries throughout Saskatchewan began allowing curbside pickup of books on Monday, as long as people made an appointment.

In Saskatoon, more than 1,000 patrons placed 7,500 holds on books, movies and CDs from Monday morning to early Tuesday morning. On a regular day in June, the Saskatoon Public Library normally sees around 1,500 holds placed in a day.

That's in addition to the hundreds of holds that were already waiting for readers when the city's libraries were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I want to say a record number of holds were placed yesterday by Saskatoon patrons," said Beth Cote, director of public services for the Saskatoon Public Library. "But I feel like that's an understatement."

In Regina, things were also busy. More than 12,800 books and other items were checked back on to shelves since the first batch of returned materials was released from quarantine.

"Users are always very keen to use the library to borrow material, but it's always nice to have that validated," said Cote.

"People are still there and still interested in using library services and still very excited to get back to using the library."

In Regina, four libraries are open to pick up and drop off books, between the hours of 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. CST Monday to Saturday, and Sunday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m:

  • Central Library.
  • George Bothwell Branch. 
  • Sunrise Branch. 
  • Sherwood Village Branch.

In Saskatoon, all nine libraries were open for pick up and drop off  ofmaterials.

Libraries will not be able to fully reopen until the second portion of Phase 4 of Re-Open Saskatchewan. The first part of the phase begins June 22.