The COVID-19 pandemic has seen the Williams Lake’s library adapt and make changes in how it services patrons, says area librarian Anton Dounts.
“Since we have reopened we have been diligently following the guidelines as they were instructed by the local and provincial health authorities. We have instituted a capacity limit to make sure that the patrons can maintain social distancing; and we can continue to provide curbside service (during select hours) so that the patrons can access our materials without having to come inside the building.”
Face masks are required at all times and patrons are strongly advised to use hand sanitizer at the entrance.
“For those patrons who are still hesitant about visiting us, please keep in mind that we are still there for you,” Dounts said. “If you have any questions regarding our digital offerings, be it ebooks, eaudiobooks, and other electronic resources and databases, or if you are interested in the contactless curbside service, please don’t hesitate to call us and connect with us through our Facebook page.”
During the pandemic, Dounts has personally been very glad to have the access to innumerable books and movies in the library’s collection during the pandemic.
“It has certainly made days of being inside that much more pleasant — I actually mean tolerable,” he said. “I also find that taking up a book and tuning off — or logging off — is rather a pleasant distraction from the endless barrage of anxiety-inducing news. It’s very therapeutic, in a way.”
Literacy matters for many reasons and for Dounts that doesn’t just mean being able to read and write.
Today, literacy also encompasses: digital literacy, information literacy, and financial literacy, he said.
“We can all appreciate that the ability to read the words on a page is paramount. But consider how difficult a life can be if you cannot connect with people online, identify specious and misleading articles or fake news, and read the terms of services agreement when you are filling out a loan application. Literacy in all those spheres is crucial.”
Dounts said he would like to remind library patrons that the staff is there for them.
“Regardless of how things develop we will continue to adjust in a way so that you can enjoy our services — even if they are slightly amended,” he said.
Dounts is also the president of the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society.