While the Drumheller Public Library remains closed to the public, avid readers are able to utilize the library’s curbside pickup to check out material.
Drumheller Public Library closed its doors to the public on Monday March 16 to protect staff and patrons amid COVID-19 concerns. The closure meant the community lost more than the opportunity to find a good book; families lost out on play and educational groups for children, DVD and instrument rentals, or even a quiet place to read, play with LEGO, or build a puzzle.
“People have been really pleased to be able to borrow physical books and movies again--ebooks just don’t meet the same need,” Emily Hollingshead, director of library services for the Drumheller Public Library, told the Mail.
The curbside pickup program started in mid-July and Hollingshead says it has already grown “from just a handful the first day to an average of about 20 pickups per three-hour window, now.”
Public libraries were included in Phase Two of reopening by the Government of Alberta, though the decision on how to reopen was left up to individual library boards.
One of the considerations to reopening the Drumheller Public Library was its accessibility--as it can only be accessed through the Badlands Community Facility, the library will not be allowed to physically reopen until the shared facility can as well.
“Until a couple of weeks ago, even library staff had very limited access to the library--maybe an hour per week,” Hollingshead said.
Understanding how valuable a library and its contents can be to the community, Hollingshead said the team realized they could utilize their limited time to collect requested items to bring to a pop-up library.
“The Drumheller Farmers Market Association has been very generous in making room for us, and we’ve loved connecting with the community again,” Hollingshead told the Mail.
With books being checked out once more, the library is now also receiving deliveries from others in the Marigold Library System, including both books and movies.
Other libraries within the Marigold Library System are also beginning to offer curbside pickup for their respective communities, though availability and pickup dates may differ.
Drumheller Public Library has curbside pickup available at the library on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at the Drumheller Farmers Market on Saturdays at their pop-up library. Patrons are encouraged to place hold requests using the TRAC website, or by calling the library for more information.