Libraries were classified under the province’s re-opening plan as stage two operations, which would come no earlier than June 19 according to Premier Jason Kenney.
Presenting to the City’s Public Services Committee on Monday, Feser laid out a potential date of June 28 though he added that could be subject to change.
The library’s opening will likely come after others in the province do the same due to electrical repairs that are scheduled to be worked on from June 22-23.
“We’ll have the power off which will delay us possibly from the other provincial opening dates,” said Feser. “But, we do hope to be open by July.”
Picking out a book will be a little different for those wishing to do so in person once the MHPL re-opens, as physical distancing will limit the number of people entering the building at one time.
All programming and events will remain cancelled, while access to online services will also be limited.
“The theatre won’t be full of people, we won’t have meeting rooms for rent and in-place programming,” said Feser. “It’s really going to be sort of what I think of as grocery store service. Come in, quickly go through to browse, get your materials, and head out.”
As part of their presentation to the Public Services Committee, Feser and his staff also unveiled their 2019 annual report.
Feser cited growth online and in their teenage populations as strong points for 2019, coming in with a slight profit of roughly $100,000.
“Our teen programming almost doubled in terms of the number of programs and visits,” he said. “Our circulation was up, that traditional library service was more popular even than before. So, it was just a very good year for us.”
Earlier this month, the MHPL received a $159,000 donation from the Medicine Hat Kinsmen Club which will allow them to update the Kinsmen’s Children’s Library over the summer months.