Aldergrove library opens with new social distancing measures, 15-guest capacity

The FVRL branch is one of 25 locations that reopened to the public Aug. 4

Aldergrove’s library, which never before had to consider the number of people entering its branch, is now counting each time a new visitor stops by.

“Our maximum is 15 people,” community librarian Jacquelynne Garden said on Monday.

The Fraser Valley Regional Library network branch at 26670 29th Ave., is one of 25 locations that reopened to the public on Aug. 4.

Individuals and families that come into the branch are asked a few key questions from Garden and other staff.

“Do you have symptoms of COVID-19?”

“Have you recently been in contact with anyone with COVID-19?”

“Have you travelled out of the country within the last 14 days?”

If patrons’ answer “no,” then they are welcome to begin using the free FVRL services.

Arrows, posters, floor stickers, and other items guide their flow through the library – which has been revamped to use the space differently in the age of the coronavirus.

RELATED: Patrons glad to be back inside Langley library branches

Prior to these new pandemic safety measures, the library offered contactless “FVRL Express” pick ups, which were reliant upon users having access to computers.

It presented a unique challenge for library patrons who were reliant upon in-person book browsing for their latest borrow, Garden explained.

For that reason, “some were hesitant” to use the service, which was put into use on June 1 – after a brief FVRL closure that started mid-March.

Since the closure programs, like reading club, crafts, and educational events, have been halted at the branches.

“We’re trying to think of ways to reach the community without meeting in person,” added Garden.

READ MORE: Library reopening provides COVID-blues cure

That said, online access to library services has skyrocketed, said Heather Scoular, FVRL director of customer experience.

“Our circulation went through the roof,” she noted.

More than 4,000 new customers signing up for e-Cards, and FVRL virtual programs acquiring more than 129,000 total views.

Still, the pandemic has been a financial blow to the network of libraries.

To cover extra costs, funds have been redirected from other FVRL resource areas.

“Unfortunately, we did have to lay off approximately 91 casual staff, which is about one quarter of our total workforce,” Scoular added.

Now, library patrons will see glass and Plexiglas shields, staff masked up when in public areas, new sanitization and cleaning protocols, and other measures.

“This is just part of the new normal,” Scoular said.

🥳 We've missed you! On August 4 our doors will once again open to the public. Listen along as Jordyn explains exactly…

Posted by FVRL – Aldergrove Library on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

🥳 We've missed you! On August 4 our doors will once again open to the public. Listen along as Jordyn explains exactly…

Posted by FVRL – Aldergrove Library on Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Fraser Valley Regional Library

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