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Service Updates & COVID-19

This page will be updated as any service changes for The Blue Mountains Public Library occur. We wish to confirm that BMPL staff are working closely with our local, regional and provincial governments and partners as we plan how to best provide a safe patron service plan to our community.

If you have not yet subscribed to our E-newsletter, we encourage you to do so. Any major changes to BMPL will be noted in an e-blast, should they occur.

Together we can keep our community safe. Please read the Updates below on Service Limitations and how we are working together to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus during this pandemic.

As of May 26th Grey Bruce Health Unit reports, the TBM community, as well as our two reciprocal bordering communities of Meaford and Grey Highlands have had no new cases of COVID-19 since May 12th. As a result, the Curbside Holds Pick-Up is scheduled to return Tuesday, June 2nd based on the continuation of community success against the pandemic.

Place your hold with us and we will have your materials boxed in a contamination free container for you to retrieve. Pick-up is Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10am-4pm at the LE Shore parking lot door. There will be no access to the LE Shore building as per provincial orders.

When Should I Come?

Staff will contact, by phone, any person who has requested materials when they are ready to be picked up. Materials will only be set outside for 2 pick-up days before they are checked back in and provided to the next person on the hold list. So please contact us if you are not able to retrieve your materials on the dates your materials are available. If you have changed your phone number, you may contact us by phone or email to update your contact information. Due to high demand of materials, unexpected return times on checked out material, and book quarantine upon return, please expect longer than normal waits for your holds.

How Are Your Making Sure My Items Are Safe From The Virus?

We have taken some extra time to develop a plan that will do just this. According to medical experts, the virus can last up to 72 hours on our print and plastic surfaces. Therefore, when materials are returned, they are quarantined for 72 hours prior to us preparing the hold for pick-up. It then takes us another 2 days to process the holds, box them in the containers, and place outside for you to retrieve them. Therefore, your materials are decontaminated by the time you get them. This mean if you ask for a book which is not already through our quarantine period, it could be upwards of a week before you receive it. We are recommending our community use all precautions at the holds tables. Because you are outside, masks are not required, but are encouraged, and definitely do not touch more than your own box of materials.   

What Should I Do When I Arrive?

At the time we process the hold and call you, we will check the items out in your name. So you do not need your library card at pick-up. We ask that only one patron retrieve materials at a time. Other groups waiting, please queue up in your car and wait in turn. This will ensure we keep physical distancing and limit the chance of spread of the virus. Look for your name on the bin and take your materials, but leave the bins. We will be disinfecting these and reusing them. Please remember, only touch the box with your name on it, so we keep the area safe from cross-contamination.

For more information, visit Curbside Pick-Up.

The BMPL Curbside Holds Pick-up Program is tentatively scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 2nd. In preparation, we are developing window displays throughout the L.E. Shore windows. While you may still browse online to find your materials, this is an opportunity to interact with a selection of materials in a physically distant manner. If you find a book, DVD, magazine, or other item you are interested in, you can place a hold on materials from the window displays.

We will continue to stock our windows over the facility closure, so check back often. And if you have an idea for one of our window displays, please let us know.

Visit Curbside Pick-Up for more details.

As per the Government of Ontario’s May 14th release detailing Stage 1 openings, public library services may resume for delivery and pickup as early as May 19, 2020.

BMPL is in the final planning for the reinstatement of our Curbside Holds Pick Up. However, at this time we do not have the PPE and proper information which will keep both staff and our community safe. While we all want to have our library and museum open to the public, we also realize that we are a highly used service in the community and must ensure our materials are safe for circulation as well as physical distancing is maintained for both staff and patrons. Currently there is widely varying information on how to do this and we are awaiting the Ministry of Labour data sheets on public library materials and services prior to the onset of roll-out of our first stage of reopening (curb-side pickup).

We are looking at multiple stages to the total reopening of services. These stages may begin as early as June 1st and could take months or years to be fully implemented, depending on the pandemic. All decisions will be based on provincial and health agency information. As a community hub, we miss our patrons, but we will continue to err on the side of safety for our community, rather than rush to provide a service which is allowed, but not properly outlined for health and safety. We are in this together and appreciate your patience. Thank you for the support and good wishes our staff have received throughout this pandemic.

An update will be published on this page following the May 21st Board Meeting,. For questions please contact LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca or call our main number at 519-599-3681 ext 2 and a member of our staff will return your call within one business day.

BMPL facilities remain closed during this pandemic, and do not have a date planned for reopening at this time. Our staff have all been busy working out of the buildings to provide our digital service model. We know everyone is trying to do their part by staying home and we have lots of things for you to do to keep you busy, entertained, educated and mentally healthy.

Need a Library Card?

No card-No problem. Please complete the form and submit, and a staff person will provide your card number to you. This is a temporary card and we will continue to extend this during the pandemic. When we open, you will need to provide ID showing you are a resident to turn this into an annual card. Anyone, regardless of where you live should have access to the virtual materials offered by public libraries in Ontario. While our service is for those residing within our Town we will not turn you away if you require a card from elsewhere. Please check with your library first. Most Ontario public libraries have staff working at home and this may be a service they are also providing to their community.

Lost/Can't Find Your Card Number?

We've got you covered. Send us an email to LibraryInfo@TheBlueMountains.ca and we will respond with your card number. Staff may need to call you back to ask a few questions confirming your identity to do this.

Need Something to Read?

That's our specialty! We typically have hundreds of thousands of items on our Virtual Branch including e-books and audio books. Children may be interested in TumbleBooks, found on our Virtual Branch. If you want to browse content, we also have BiblioBoard which is our museum online collection and offers great images and content to browse.

Story Time for Children and Families

Our library staff are offering story time 2 days a week, on Wednesday and Friday. We have also linked other story time on our Things to Do at Home page, and TumbleBooks has many read-along audio books as well, found on our Virtual Branch. These are available through Facebook and Instagram. All details are on our Event Calendar.

Missing Your Book Club?

Mary is running a weekly Digital Book Club through Facebook Live every Thursday. Join her and hear what others are reading. This club accepts everyone and you don't even need to share the same book. All details are on our Event Calendar.

Tech Problems

Tech problems? No Problem! Ashley is still running her Tech Help program, live every Wednesday at 1pm on Facebook Live. 

Homework Supports

Our Things to Do at Home page has links to several homework supports, including the Ontario Learn at Home website which offers supports for many of the secondary courses and K-8 literacy and  numeracy.  

Crafts and Activities

On Saturday's, Jen is offering a Facebook Live craft activity. You may also visit our Things to Do at Home page for some activities or watch previous Facebook Live sessions on our YouTube.

Missing Your Museum?

Even before COVID-19 we were missing the physical access to the Museum due to some remediation needs occurring. We are still moving forward with these repairs, although as you can imagine, everything in the province has slowed down. But no one should go without seeing your CHD staff or hearing our local history. We have many programs to help with this including our Museum Mondays, Cluesday Tuesday, and Friday Museum Talk & Tell & Sketch programs. Checkout our Event Calendar for information on these. We also have great BiblioBoard and other museum collections exhibited on our Virtual Branch and our Virtual Museum and the archived videos of our programs can be found on our YouTube site. As always, you can email your research questions to our Museum staff as well .

Missing your Seniors Exercise?

Instructor Sharon Challis will be offering online exercise classes, every Monday at 10am on our Facebook Page.  Gentle aerobics and stretches, follow along at home. These and all our programs are available on our YouTube page, so feel free to redo on Wednesdays as well and keep the usual exercise schedule! 

Missing Educational Opportunities?

Our Virtual Branch has many opportunities for you. You can learn a language on Mango. You can take one of thousands of courses on Lynda.com. The students may find some support through Homework Help or the Ontario Learning at Home pages. BiblioBoard will give you opportunities to learn about our local history and even give you a change to add to this knowledge by sharing content and uploading images. We all need to stay home, but it is no reason to lose new opportunities to learn.

Return of Materials

The book returns are still available at L.E. Shore. Due to limited staff travel, we opted to close the bookdrop at the Craigleith Heritage Depot. We apologize for any inconvenience in this decision. While you are welcome to return your items, so you do not have to worry about it, there are no late fees during the closure. We have extended all due dates and will continue to do so for all materials until we are returning to open hours. At this time materials are due back in May, but we will be extending them through June this week. We have also suspended all notices of materials, so you will not be receiving any reminders of items due date until we begin the reopening process.

Holds

If you had a hold, you will still be in the holds queue for the books. You may also continue to place holds, but know we will be back logged and not offering the print materials until we partially reopen the building. Those of you who received a notice earlier in the month saying your item is available, you will be contacted with our books are ready to circulate. This message will ask if you still wish to have the item and then you will be given 2 days to retrieve the item. This shortened time is to get our materials moving. If you cannot pick it up in the timeframe, please let us know and we will make arrangements with you.

Subscription Changes to Our Monthly E-newsletter

The BMPL adheres to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which requires all email to be subscribed to and for an unsubscribe to be available. The primary means for BMPL to communicate is our once monthly e-newsletter which provides the services available to the community in the coming month. ALL PATRONS ARE SUBSCRIBED into this e-newsletter as part of your library services. This is the primary means of us communicating with our members. Our staff are updating this database this month and some of you may receive a verify your subscription email from our LibraryInfo@TheBlueMountains.ca or EChandler. These are from our website and correct. We commend some of you who noted the message is not from our typical email address-this is because the website, and not our typical email, is the author of the autogenerated verification link and message. Please verify this link so you will receive our future messages on services. You may also add additional subscriptions including:

  • In the Gallery-a monthly newsletter on the Arts & Culture programs at BMPL.
  • Key Messages-a monthly newsletter from the Board on key actions over the month.
  • Kids Zone-a children and family monthly newsletter on activities and opportunities
  • Staff Picks-a monthly review of some materials by our staff and volunteers.

For dates and times of our online programs, please check out our Event Calendar. This is up to date and includes all the virtual meetings and activities we are offering. Most programs are being offered on Facebook Live and Instagram. You may also visit our YouTube page for the archived programs we are offering.

BMPL's Georgian College Co-Op student is assisting us by doing updates to our e-newsletter software.

  • Library News-our primary communication on services [all patrons are enrolled]
  • In the Gallery-monthly blog about arts and culture activities in gallery
  • Key Messages-the governance monthly update by the Board
  • Kids Zone-Children's program newsletter
  • Staff Picks-great reviews by staff on must reads

Over the month patrons and others who have registered for these e-subscriptions may receive an email thanking you for subscribing and asking you to verify the subscription by clicking on the link. This email, from Elisa Chandler, is from us, and not a phishing scam.

If you have questions you may contact Dr. Sabrina Saunders. As always, you may register, amend or unsubscribe at any time.

If you or someone you know requires a computer to apply for the many EI supports being offered by the government, we are here for you. Dr. Sabrina Saunders will be offering the L.E. Shore computers, by appointment to those who do not have access to computers by appointment. This is not an open invitation to computer access, nor is it for people who have alternate options such as a computer at home, a laptop/tablet that can use the Wi-Fi in the parking lot of LES or CHD safely. 

The CEO will ask screening questions at the time of booking any appointments, and does reserve the right to refuse any application which does not appear to be for the purposes of this emergent service offer. For an appointment, please contact Dr. Sabrina Saunders at LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca 

The BMPL library and museum services have moved to a virtual model. Staff are providing story time, tech help, webinars, book clubs online using Facebook. In April our museum will begin providing sessions on fossils and the many items held in the collection. Each of us is working to do our part to end the spread of this virus, and while we would prefer to meet face to face with our community to provide these services, we are excited to try this new service model. Don't miss any of our events and programs. Please check out our Event Calendar for new programs.

We've mentioned this several times in previous posts, but our Virtual Library is open 24/7. Please use this as a main link to find so much more than just electronic books. If you haven't investigated this site in the past, please do. We also have another page we have loaded for you, Things To Do At Home. This page has links for homework assistance, crafts, thousands of pre-recorded story times, links to children's games, and more.

The book return at LES is available and checked regularly, while CHD bookdrop is closed. We apologize for this inconvenience, but this limits the amount of traveling our staff need to do daily. All materials have been extended and late fees have been dropped at this time. Also, if your library card is scheduled to expire between now and May 31st, we have extended your card. For those who do not have a card, you can now apply online and we will provide you with a temporary card to get your access to our Virtual Branch during COVID-19. It is important to us that no one goes without the educational and recreational services.

If you have recommendations, we would love to hear them. You may contact our staff or CEO by email any time.   

With today's closing of the province's non-essential businesses effective Tuesday night, we will be following this direction and shutting down our holds system and keeping staff at home as of Tuesday. Any holds which were received will be available for pick up on Tuesday between 11am-4pm and then these will be held until the province allows businesses to reopen using the physical distancing protocols.

If you have materials that you wish to be returned, these can be dropped off tonight and on Tuesday until 4pm. After that the book drop will be locked until non-essential businesses who can provide a physical distance of 2m or more between staff are allowed to reopen.

We will continue to provide electronic materials on our Virtual Branch and other activities for families to do at home.  

The Town of the Blue Mountains Council met today in Committee of the Whole to, among other business, hear a report by TBM staff on COVID-19 and services/facilities.

At this meeting all buildings have been closed, while services will be continuing online and virtually. Please view the TBM COVID-19 Information for Town-specific information. The Blue Mountains Public Library buildings were included in this closure through April 17th.

How Can You Access BMPL Materials During Our Shutdown?

The BMPL Staff are working today and Tuesday to set up a temporary service model.

  1. Our Virtual Branch is always available online 24/7 for reading and entertainment materials. There are great resources that all community members should investigate.
  2. We also are establishing a new Things To Do At Home page which includes links to children’s games, activities, stories and programs online. These will also be promoted on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
  3. Additionally, in light of the shutdown, we have enhanced our holds programs in order to provide materials to those who are interested:
  1. Place your hold online at https://olsn.ent.sirsidynix.net/client/en_US/bluemountains/ [Your login is your library card, your pin is the last 4 digits of your phone number on file]
  2. While you may request more than 6 items (e.g. DVD, book, etc), we will limit the number of items we pull each day per person based on the size of space we have to make this service work. Request daily if this works better for you, but please do not stockpile, as we cannot house our entire collection outside.
  3. Just like our typical holds notification, we will contact you via email or phone when the item(s) you have requested are available. We will then place them on the new Holds Carts at the parking lot entrance. Different from our typical process, is that these items will be held for a maximum of 2 days on the cart only and be outside between 11am-4pm. On poor weather days, we will move these carts into the outer vestibule on the parking lot side. While we allow typical holds to be there longer, we just do not have the room to do this, so please ask if and only if you can get here to retrieve it. If you can not pick up on the day we offer the materials, please let us know and we will hold putting those materials outside.
  4. When you come to retrieve your book, it will already be checked out to you. Simply take it. ONLY TAKE BOOKS IN YOUR NAME! Read the label of first and last name as last names are often common. Please remember these books are not for browsing.
  5. It is important to keep the social distancing rule of a minimum of 6.5 feet, so please do not line up in a queue. Remain in your car. Wait if there are others. And of course, enjoy your materials. [Social Distancing definition increased from 5' to 6.5' by Health Canada]
  6. Any interlibrary loan materials which have been received via Canada Post will be on these carts, but no new materials can be ordered as libraries across the province have shut down.
  7. Please note this is a pilot program and one unique to our library. We are trying new services as long as it is practical, it is safe, and as long as there is no abuse of the protocols listed above, including the social distancing protocol.
  1. We also have a give-away cart. This is clearly marked. Any community member may grab and go from this cart. Please do not return these when you have read them. They were scheduled to go to our book sale anyways.

The BMPL staff will be working shifts on site to complete the phone and internet questions, as well as to provide the new service model. The building is closed and we will not respond to any inquiries face to face.

Again, please continue to watch the Service Updates & COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates.

In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to act responsibly and work within the social distancing protocols Health Canada has recommended. We understand that while the BMPL staff have been diligently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces hourly and have cancelled group activities and programs, the staff cannot guarantee a social distance of 5 feet at this time. 

The Town of The Blue Mountains Council and the BMPL Board will each be meeting on this matter, and more information will be released when available. It is important to note that we have not set a lengthy date of closure. If decisions to open the facility during the week is made, we will work as a staff to reconfigure our service to best support social distancing in our public building. The closure on Sunday and Monday, will allow our staff to best react to this situation.

While it is a very difficult decision to balance public service needs against the public health needs; we believe this is the correct decision for our community at this time.

Our Virtual Branch is still open, as are book drops and wi-fi at both locations.

For Town information related to COVID-19, please visit: www.thebluemountains.ca/covid-19.cfm

In partnership with the Town of The Blue Mountains, all programs and events have been cancelled or postponed until at least Monday, March 23rd. TBM and the BMPL Board will be assessing the situation in the coming days. At this time, L.E. Shore remains open regular hours. The Craigleith Heritage Depot remains closed for renovations and remediation. Our Event Calendar is up to date.

Check out the TBM COVID-19 page for local information. If you are not already subscribing to the TBM e-blasts and the BMPL E-Newsletter, these are a major method for communication with our community. We encourage you to subscribe today! 

Library Patrons,

The World Health Organization has now defined the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. As a result, Canada, Ontario, Grey County and The Town of the Blue Mountains are each moving forward with plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community and staff. The Blue Mountains Public Library (BMPL) is doing our part by evaluating our services and types of programs we will be offering in March Break and in the next weeks.

Health service agencies advise the best practice is the regular washing of hands, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth, congregating in large groups of people, and social distancing (5 feet between people). If you are sick we ask you not visit the library.

Importantly, we are working to balance public service with public safety. Each community will make plans that best meet the community and work to limit further spread. As such, we will continue to work with our government partners and amend our plans based on their advice. Updates will be posted to our website regularly.

While some activities and events have been cancelled or postponed, at present, there is no change to our hours or services, and most regular programs are continuing as planned. Our Event Calendar will be updated regularly and registrants will be notified by email of March Break changes. In order to keep our L.E. Shore (LES) open and mitigate spread of any virus, we have added some enhanced procedures:

  • Throughout the Library, you will find hand sanitizers. There are stations at each entrance, at both circulation desks, and at each of our seating area. Additionally, we have put up signage at each of these stations explaining how to properly use hand sanitizer. The best method of cleaning hands is, of course, 20-30 seconds of hand scrubbing with hot water and soap in the bathrooms.
  • Please return all materials through the book drops. One is located at the Craigleith Heritage Depot, one at each entrance of the LES building, and another inside LES at the circulation desk. 
  • We have added additional janitorial cleaning of high-touch areas, and added cleaning duties of our staff for high touch transfer areas (e.g. tabletops, door handles, chair arms, keyboards, mouse).
  • Some toys and games have been removed as it is impractical, at this time, to try to maintain cleaning protocols of these.

How do I participate in BMPL Services without entering the building:

  • Our Virtual Branch is a great place to find reading materials while you are home. We have online collections from the Craigleith Heritage Depot, e-newspapers and magazines, audio and e-books, movies, and music.
  • Call or email us and we will extend your material loans. You may also self-renew by logging onto our online system and renew your materials. If you receive a notice that an item cannot be renewed, please call during business hours and we will ensure no late fees are applied.

We will use the new Services Update and COVID-19  on our website to communicate service changes due to COVID-19 and our E-Newsletter to announce any major changes, should they occur. Again, if you are not subscribed, we encourage you to visit our webpage and subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Dr. Sabrina Saunders
Blue Mountains Public Library CEO
LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca
519-599-3681 ext 2

Authoritative Information about COVID-19

Information from Local, Provincial and National Agencies 

Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus):

CDC Handwashing Videos

 
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