Limited opening of all SDG libraries, self serve option coming to Morrisburg

SOUTH DUNDAS – The gradual reopening plan to once again offer some service at all of the SDG library branches is being achieved this week with the reopening of the last three branches.

This week the Williamsburg, South Mountain and Avonmore libraries are scheduled to reopen with limited hours for curbside pickup.

“It has always been our goal to be able to re-open all our branches when it was safe for us to do so,” said Karen Franklin, SDG director of library services. “Staff have done a fantastic job to prepare these last three branches for re-opening, just as days are getting shorter and colder temperatures are upon us.”

Locally, the Morrisburg branch was the first branch to reopen for curbside service and now offers limited browsing, short stays and some services including limited computer terminal access. It is open for limited hours six days a week.

The Iroquois branch reopened, for curbside pickup service only, in October.

During the shutdown the branch underwent a transformation which includes new shelving and a service desk. The newly revamped space looks great but as of yet patrons have not been allowed inside the branch to see the update.

Ceiling tile damage and replacement disrupted the planned reopening requiring library staff to set up a temporary workspace to offer pickup service in the entryway of the Iroquois Civic Centre.

South Dundas facilities supervisor David Mackenzie told The Leader that facilities work on the branch location ceiling was scheduled to be completed last Friday.

With the completion of that work, that should allow library staff to work inside the revamped branch but patrons will still not be able to attend the branch for browsing.

The Iroquois branch will be open for pickup only. It is open two days a week for a total of seven hours.

Similarly, the Williamsburg branch is opening for pickup only. It is open two days a week for a total of eight hours.

South Dundas’ busiest branch here in Morrisburg is one of two locations selected by the SDG Library board to be receiving a new automated checkout machine.

In a key information report to counties council, Franklin said the purchase of the automated technology is in response to people’s hesitancy to linger at SDG’s busiest branches.

The board and SDG counties council approved the purchase of two kiosks at their most recent meetings – one for Morrisburg and the other for Alexandria.

At the most recent library board meeting, Franklin said the automated kiosks are not meant to replace staff, but to free up staff for other tasks.

The two kiosks (pictured below) costing $12,000 each will be purchased using Social Services COVID relief funds for which these purchases qualify.

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