Sioux Lookout Public Library welcomes back patrons with soft reopening
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
The Sioux Lookout Public Library (SLPL) has announced that it will be having a soft reopening Feb 15-25.
In a release received from The Sioux Lookout Public Library on Feb 11, Emily McIntyre, SLPL CEO and Chief Librarian commented, “The Sioux Lookout Public Library is very excited to announce that we will be welcoming patrons back into the community library! We are introducing a soft opening plan, from Feb 15-25, as a way to support two vulnerable demographics of the community to begin visiting the library again. We would like to give special consideration to seniors (60+ years) and elders on Tuesdays and Thursdays to use the library from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Wednesdays and Fridays, we would like to welcome children and guardians (families) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The general public can visit the library anytime from 2 p.m. to close throughout the week and Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.”
McIntyre went on to explain that, “Following the soft opening, on February 26, we’re excited to fully open our doors to the public with a “BACK TO THE BOOKS” celebration! We will be open from noon to 4 p.m. and are inviting the public to come meet the staff, enter book draws, and enjoy some cake and refreshments. We would like patrons to experience our new “Browse, Borrow and Go” model for the reopening.”
As McIntyre states, “The library is an important pillar in every community. It’s very meaningful to the staff to be able to celebrate the reopening and provide in-house service to the public once more. All members of the community have been affected by public health restrictions, so the library is grateful for the opportunity to safely open our doors to the public and will be following health guidelines such as mask wearing, social distancing and hand sanitizing.”
While staffing issues exacerbated finalizing the reopening’s timeline, the recent hiring of an assistant librarian has done much to enable the SLPL to be able open its doors once again.
As McIntyre explained, “Up until recently, the library was experiencing a staffing shortage, which affected our ability to offer in-person programming, community services or regular hours of operation. However, our longest serving staff members, Terri Finney and Maureen Rogers, have done an excellent job of providing curbside service, online support and interlibrary loan services throughout the pandemic. In addition, retired CEO Wendy MacDonald, returned to the library to lend her knowledge and experience with operational needs and ensuring a smooth transition for the next CEO. Most recently, an Assistant Librarian, Lexie Makar, was hired which has helped substantially in allowing us to develop the reopening plan. Ms. Makar comes to the library with a diverse skill set and is looking forward to reviving regular programming.”
McIntyre concluded, “Libraries are known for being information hubs and ours remains one of the few establishments in town where many services can be accessed free of cost. We encourage members of the public and neighbouring communities of Hudson and Lac Seul to join us on February 26 for the “BACK TO THE BOOKS” open house where we can provide more details about in-house and online services. If you do not have a library card, please visit us to receive an application. For anyone that is not ready or unable to attend the library in person, we will be continuing curbside services for their convenience. Lastly, we want to send a huge thank you to all of our patrons from Sioux Lookout, Hudson and Lac Seul for their ongoing support!”
More information will be available through the SLPL Facebook page, or patrons can call the library at 737-3660 for details.