Four branches of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL) are now open for visitors. The Central, Calvin Park, Isabel Turner and Sydenham locations are open and operational, with varying hours.
“We look forward to welcoming our patrons back into our spaces,” says Director, Branch Experience, Nicole Charles. “We appreciate our communities’ patience as we worked on plans to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors. Our phased approach to reopening makes it possible to adjust our protocols as needed.”
“Staff will greet each patron at the door to welcome them back, ensure everyone is aware of the differences in how we will provide service, and help them find what they need.”
Charles and her team have repositioned library furnishings to allow for physical distancing, and some computers and other equipment will be out of service, KFPL said in a media release.
When asked about in-branch programming returning to the library, Kimberly Sutherland-Mills, Manager, Programming and Outreach, shared these details:
“While we won’t have any in-branch programs for the remainder of 2020, we have some great events planned:
- Families craving in-person storytimes can join us for Stories in the Square every Thursday morning in August. We’ll be in the amphitheatre behind City Hall at 10:30 a.m. each week as part of the Love Kingston Marketplace programming.
- Our popular Live at the Library series of children’s performers moved online this summer, sponsored once again by the Friends of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library. A warm and lively concert for young children by Kathy Reid-Naiman is available on our Youtube channel through August 11, and we have two drama workshops with Sandbox Theatre and a magic workshop with WonderPhil later in the month.
- Our Youtube channel has blossomed during the pandemic, shifting from a rarely used platform to the hub for our virtual programs. The advantage of pre-recorded programs is that you can fit them into your schedule however it works for you – if you want structure, you can count on the same series releasing an episode each week; if you want flexibility, you can watch whenever the mood strikes.”
“Since launching our online programs in April we’ve had more than 8,400 views,” Sutherland-Mills continued. “Most of the programs are publicly available, but our Storytime Express in English and L’heure du conte in French are available only through email subscription due to copyright restrictions on recorded read-alouds.”
“Looking ahead to the fall, we’ll continue offering our programs online through a combination of Youtube recordings and live Zoom events. The highlight of September will be our virtual author visit with Eternity Martis, an award-winning journalist and author of They Said This Would be Fun: Race, Campus Life, and Growing Up, which Indigo has named one of its Top 50 Best Books of 2020. We’re delighted to co-present this event with Kingston’s Black Luck Collective as part of our Constellations lecture series. Our children’s program details will be released on August 18th and will include a blend of old favourites and new programs.”
A few items to be aware of when visiting the open branches of the KFPL:
- Maximum occupancy has been determined for each library branch, and patrons may be asked to wait if the library is at capacity.
- Visitors are asked to limit their stay to less than an hour to allow access for others, and maintain physical distancing.
- Wearing a mask is required when visiting the library branches.
- KFPL is asking patrons to touch as few materials as possible.
- All items are quarantined for 72 hours after they are returned to the library, and items used in branches will be quarantined as well.
As branches re-open, curbside pick up will end. To stay informed on which branches are open, visit the KFPL website: https://www.kfpl.ca/
KFPL expects all locations will be open by mid-September, with branches continuing to open over the coming weeks.