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Libraries in the Time of COVID

June 11 2020

Libraries, like everyone else, have been having to adapt to the COVID lockdown, and we at Bon Accord Public Library are no different. We want to be there for our community now more than ever, but how to do it safely? After educating ourselves on safety standards and some out-of-the-box quick thinking, here are the services we have come up with:

Curbside Pickups

We have made it possible for patrons to pick up hardcopy materials (including jigsaws!). Call us at 780-921-2540 to set up a pick-up or drop-off.

Krafty Kids Mystery Challenge Bags

f you have a kid aged six to twelve, stop by the library Monday to Friday 10 am to 1 pm to pick up a kit for some artsy time with your kiddo. Use the contents of the bag—and your imagination—to create something. Please call the library at 780-921-2540 in advance so we can have a kit prepared for you.


Knits or Knots In the Park

To meet with social distancing guidelines, Knits or Knots has moved venue to Centennial Park (Train Park). We meet on Wednesday evenings 6:30 to 8:30 pm. Hope to see you there!

Phone Services

Need help with something? We’re unable to meet you face to face, but if you call our phone number (780-921-2540) we can help you that way!

Online Services

And last but not least, all our online services are still available. You can find them on our website’s homepage on the right-hand side; it’s a big orange button that looks like a banner.


But how have other libraries been handling the lockdown?

The short answer is: it varies. A lot. A library’s services are meant to meet the needs of its community, so whether there’s a pandemic or things are business as usual, no two libraries are alike in what they offer, even within the same library system. Because communities have been affected in very different ways by covid, library responses have been unique and varied.

In the Toronto area, a third of food banks were forced to close due to a lack of volunteers. People needed the food they had to offer, but they didn’t have a way to distribute it anymore, so the Toronto Public Library stepped in to help. They put out a call to its staff asking for volunteers to help with packing food hampers and within an hour they had all the help they needed and then some.

In the US, where there is a shortage of protective gear for first responders, Suffolk Cooperative Library System has put its 3D printers to use to provide local hospitals with the equipment they so desperately need.


Libraries that have 3D printers have been doing their part to help
first responders by making protective gear like the masks shown above.

Halifax Public Libraries has loaned tablets, gaming systems, and board games to a local youth home to keep the teens entertained through lockdown and prevent them from wandering off, while Regina Public Library has started offering its counselling service (that used to be in person) by telephone, and South Shore Public Libraries in Nova Scotia has been helping people with scanning and sending government documents and forms if they are unable to do so themselves.

Meanwhile, in Middletown, US, the local library partnered with the town’s senior centre to help older adults by helping with grocery delivery and checking in on them via phone.

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