On March 1st, it was announced that a gradual reopening would be implemented in Step 2 of the province’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Libraries were directly affected by the announcement as they are now allowed to re-open at 15% of fire code capacity.

In the announcement, Health Minister Shandro said with regards to libraries, “This considers the concerns that we’ve heard related to the important role that libraries play. In particular in rural communities where they have limited access to high-speed internet."

When speaking to Cremona Municipal Library Manager, Tracy Westerson she completely agrees with that statement saying, “It’s been really hard for anybody, with us being closed, I mean if you had to do come in to do your unemployment stuff you have nowhere to do that. This is the only place in Cremona that you can go and use the computer. So yes, it did affect a lot of people not being able to come in and use the computer.”

Westerson says they are really happy to be able to reopen. They did improvise with curbside pickup, but admittedly it doesn’t work as well saying, “People can’t come in and actually see what there is. You can go online, but it’s better for people if they can come into the actual building and look and pick out their own books because they can see everything that we have. That comes back again to a lot of people who don’t have internet.”

Westerson says that for now they cannot have any programs due to the small size of the building, but as soon as they are allowed to open up to a bigger than 15% capacity they will be ready to get programs going. She says, “We are happy to be open and we just hope that they won’t shut us down again.”

Westerson also wants to remind people that the Cremona Library offers free memberships and they don’t charge any late fees. 

For more information on the Cremona Municipal Library click here.

The Cochrane Public Library is also very happy to be open.

They will be accommodating 10 patrons at a time, with 30 minutes maximum time limit per person. Masks, social distancing, and handwashing/sanitizing practices are mandatory.

They will still be offering curbside service. Open hours and curbside hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

For more information click here.