Elgin County libraries still open

Elgin libraries are staying open, though at reduced capacity due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, county Community and Cultural Services Director Brian Masschaele said Wednesday, Jan. 5.

The occupancy limit inside branches would be limited to 50 percent of full capacity, but otherwise the same services as had been offered recently would continue.

That included browsing through a branch’s collection, using public computers, access to internet wireless connections both inside and from parking lots and providing advice to readers, he said. Patrons would be asked to keep visits as brief as possible though, and to strictly observe all safety rules.

Curbside pickup of books and materials would also be offered, he noted.

Elgin Warden Mary French, mayor of Aylmer, said, “I know so many county residents are relieved to hear that our library branches will remain open at this time.”

Since the pandemic began, she said, local library branches had helped workers, students and families access needed services online. “We are striking a careful balance between safety and access with capacity limits and several other protocols in place to keep our staff and community safe.

“Now, more than ever, as other programs and events are cancelled, libraries and those who work there are rising to the challenge.”