PORT HAWKESBURY: Eastern Counties Regional Library (ECRL) said it is pleased to begin welcoming students, teachers, and members of the public back into the Port Hawkesbury Library (located inside SAERC) beginning Sept. 14.

The Nova Scotia Government’s Returning to Class for 2021-22 plan outlines that schools will return to their existing policies on community use of schools, this includes permitting members of the public to enter SAERC and Dalbrae Academy to visit their public libraries, the ECRL noted. Due to a facility issue, they said the date to resume access at the Alexander Doyle Public Library, located inside Dalbrae Academy, will be announced at a later date.

The ECRL said library users will need to follow public health guidance in the school and in the library. This will include COVID-19 screening and visitor sign-in for contact tracing purposes, they said. Masks will be required at all times while inside the school until Sept. 20, and are strongly recommended after that date, the ECRL said, noting that any changes to masking requirements or other public health guidance will be communicated to library users if or when they take effect.

The ECRL said users of the Port Hawkesbury Library can continue to enjoy Borrow by Mail and ECRL’s extensive selection of digital content, and they will also have the opportunity to enjoy in-person services like browsing, public computer use, and free WiFi access. Curbside Pickup library service in Port Hawkesbury will be replaced with Library Take-out service, they said, noting that library members can continue to place holds on their online account or with telephone assistance from library staff.

The ECRL said users can arrange Library Take-out service with library staff, and their library items will be ready for pick-up just inside the library, in a manner similar to Curbside Pickup, but inside the library. Returns will be accepted inside the library and also in the book drop located inside the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre, they noted.

“We want to thank users of the Port Hawkesbury Library for their patience over these last 18 months,” said Laura Emery, CEO of ECRL. “We are proud of how staff were able to continue delivering library materials and library services to community members despite the challenges, and we are all very excited, and relieved, to be able to welcome visitors to the Port Hawkesbury Library again.”

As public health protocols can evolve quickly, the public can stay up to date on services offered at ECRL by visiting: ecrl.ca, or by following the ECRL on social media: facebook.com/ECRLibrary and twitter.com/ecrlibrary.