Greater Sudbury library to offer check-in phone service

If you’re missing the social aspect of visiting your local library during the pandemic, staff at the Greater Sudbury Public Library is looking to help.

Program aims to keep patrons and staff talking about books and films through the pandemic

Library staff in Sudbury are offering a service to check in with patrons. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

If you're missing the social aspect of visiting your local library during the pandemic, staff at the Greater Sudbury Public Library is looking to help.

The library is getting ready to launch a phone check-in service.

Coordinator of library collections, Mary Searle, says they decided to give it a try after seeing the library in Windsor roll out a similar program.

"We are asking our patrons to call us or fill out an online form if they are interested in having library staff give them a call and talk about books and films and have those discussions," she said.

She says personally, she lives with two people who are not big readers like she is. 

"I finish a book, I look up and I want to talk about it and they're just not as interested as I am," she said.

"So we're hoping that this second service will give all the readers and all the viewers a chance to have those conversations."

Searle says staff are looking forward to starting up the program.

"Those connections are very important to us," she said.

"We have heard from our patrons that miss not only the materials they are not getting from us … but that they also miss the conversations they have with us."

Searle says it should launch in the coming days. Patrons can now go onto the library's website to fill out a form with basic information such as what kind of books you like to read or what films you like to watch.

Mary Searle is the coordinator of library collections at the Greater Sudbury Public Library. (Jan Lakes/CBC)

Searle says staff are looking forward to speaking on the phone with patrons as work up until now has been online throughout the pandemic.

"They're really looking forward to making those connections again with our patrons," she said.

"This is just another way to make sure we're filling patrons' needs when it comes to something a little more personal regarding their reading or viewing habits."

Searle says even with launching a new phone program, plans are still underway to eventually reopen the library.

"We know it will be some sort of phased approach," she said.

"We certainly have to follow what the city will give us as guidelines and they'll follow what the province and public health give."

With files from Angela Gemmill


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