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Grande Prairie Public Library giving readers access from a distance

The Grande Prairie Public Library is finding ways to keep the community reading. The facility closed its doors to the public at the beginning of March as a precautionary step to keep residents and staff safe.

Since then, Director Deb Cryderman says the library has made an effort to keep resources available for the public while many are at home.

“People will still be able to self isolate, keep themselves safe, but still have that social contact that the library has always been an important part of.”

The organization has an ongoing online library card that gives people a chance to access to limited online resources. Cryderman says there has been a large increase in what’s available since families were recommended to stay home.

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The library’s funding has also been diverted from physical copies to online.

“The number of electronic items has really increased. Libraries all across Alberta have been doing the same things.”

Those looking to access physical copies of reading materials can put the resources on hold online, then contact the library to arrange a pick up 24 hours later. The pick-up times are separated to abide by social distancing protocols.

“The staff has been working really hard to make sure anyone who wants [a book] can get a hold of them,” explains Cryderman.

As the weather gets warmer, the library will be placing a table outside for people to grab free books. Cryderman says they’re putting out items that have been weeded out of the library’s collection or have been donated. She says this is perfect for those who don’t want to get a library card but are still desperate for a book.

“We have had a few comments about how appreciative people are to be able to interact with us in some ways. We’re not just providing books and e-resources; we’ve done a number of games and videos.”

Cryderman adds there has been close to a thousand book holds for curbside pick up in the community over the last month.

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