As of Friday July 17 the library is now reopen at all branches, with limited hours. Visit peclibrary.org/locations to check the hours or call (613) 476-5962. If you have items checked out that you have had since before we closed, please return them so that others may enjoy them. The Archives is open by appointment only.
Reopening gives us an opportunity to reflect and tell you about what we have been up to in between March 17 (when the library was closed by provincial order) and July 17, when we were permitted to reopen.
Although the library’s buildings were closed, we continued to serve you. Using tools from the Library’s Community Makerspace, we immediately transitioned our programs online, and will continue to do so for at least the rest of the year. This included 93 children’s programs, 50 health and wellness programs, and 24 tech workshops. We answered countless tech questions from people across the County who were suddenly thrust into doing everything online. Our virtual meeting room was used by many of the library’s regular groups with assistance from our tech staff.
Author events are a core part of our programs at the library, and we used the opportunity of virtual programs to welcome Alan Bradley from the Isle of Man and Jane Christmas from England, as well as Katherine Ashenberg, Shani Mootoo, Peter Blendell and Shelagh Hurley. We also interviewed authors JD Carpenter, Vicki Delany and Andrew Binks plus podcast creators Cheryl Bruce and Jennifer Sommer. The Discover YOUth LGBTQ2+ and allies group met and watched movies together, online. Community members helped to expand our offerings – Thank you to artist Tommy Ferris for teaching beginner Gothic Calligraphy, and Cecilia Jost for teaching Spanish lessons. Liz Driver and Braydon Scully talked with Archivist Molly McGowan about how and why you may wish to pursue a heritage designation for your home. Community Care for Seniors and Prince Edward County Learning Centre welcomed us via Zoom to instruct regarding online library services. We were also happy to partner with the Picton Kiwanis to share our programs on their channel Eastlink Cable 10, and 99.3 County FM to present the County Reads over the radio. We also conducted an overall assessment of our technology services, using a standardized benchmarking system used by many libraries and secured a grant from The Emergency Community Support fund through the Prince Edward County Community Foundation, to purchase easily sanitized technology to ensure we could safely provide access to computers.
Perhaps the biggest undertaking was the first-ever complete inventory of the library’s collection. This means that we checked every book and DVD at each the library’s six branches to ensure that our database is accurate. While the library’s doors were closed, we loaned 9,692 books and DVDs through curbside and mail, plus checked out 17,104 ebooks and audiobooks. 4,129 films were streamed.