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Grande Prairie Public Library surprised with early reopening opportunity

Staff at the Grande Prairie Public Library will be putting plans into hyperdrive as they are now cleared to open their doors as part of stage two of the province’s COVID-19 reopening strategy.

Executive Director Deb Cryderman adds they plan on holding staff meetings over the next couple of days and expect to have a firm reopening date by the end of the week.

She jokes that they found out they were opening roughly around the same time as everyone else in Alberta did, and that was during the announcement by Premier Jason Kenney and Health Minister Tyler Shandro on Monday afternoon.

“What we had fully planned, we were going to be able to open easily on April 1st, as we figured that was the ballpark of the time we’d be able to reopen,” she says.

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“It came as a shock not only to us but to every library in Alberta that could have re-opened at 4 o’clock yesterday,” she adds.

Cryderman says the good news is the restrictions which state the library can only hold a maximum of 15 per cent of capacity, as a recent precedent already sees them set up to make it work. However, she says the success of the curbside pick-up program has created a bit of a backlog they need to tend to before re-opening.

“It’ll be basically the same thing as it was just before Christmas when we shut down the last time,” she says.

“We need to change some staff scheduling, to change where we are quarantining our books… we have 10 tables full of books outside in the circulation area that we need to find a home for.”

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