Service Updates & COVID-19
This page will be updated as any service changes for The Blue Mountains Public Library occur. We wish to confirm that BMPL staff are working closely with the GBHU, local, regional and provincial governments as we plan how to best provide a safe patron service plan to our community.
If you have not yet subscribed to our E-newsletter, we encourage you to do so. Any major changes to BMPL will be noted in an e-blast, should they occur. If you are looking for additional information on service changes, please review other areas of our website including:
Together we can keep our community safe. Please read the Updates below on Service Changes and how we are working together to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus during this pandemic.
Critical Threshold Closure- April 15, 2021
According to the GBHU we are at a Critical Threshold [See GBHU Situation Report]. Therefore The Blue Mountains Public Library will be closing curbside pickup through Sunday, April 18th. Staff will be monitoring the voicemail and email messages from home, and responding to patron needs. Please leave detailed messages when calling or emailing so we can best handle your question with our Work From Home staff.
While our bookdrops remain open, we encourage everyone to follow the GBHU's request to remain home during this period, so they may have smaller contact tracing needs for future infections. Curbing this virus is in our hands, so stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home.
Return to Curbside for the Month of April- April 1, 2021
In accordance with today's announced month long provincial shutdown, the BMPL facilities will revert to contactless Curbside Pickup. The pandemic hours will remain the same at both the L.E. Shore and Craigleith Heritage Depot and staff will be available onsite to facilitate the curbside pickup as well as assist with phone in holds requests and for those needing help with the provincial online vaccination process. Our staff can assist those who are having problems getting through on the phone or need computer access. We are available to print your summons orders for vaccination for those who email the documents to us. All virtual programs will continue as promoted on the Events Calendar.
BMPL Opening for Hybrid Service Beginning Wednesday- March 22, 2021
BMPL has been trying to balance the province's instructions that we are able to open, with the recommendations of our Public Health Unit's telling us to stay the course. As such we are giving our community choice in how you access your Library, Museum and Gallery.
Beginning on Wednesday, March 24th:
- The L.E. Shore Branch will be open for full browsing, Gallery access, and computer access on Tuesday and Thursday 11am-6pm and Saturday 10am-2pm. We will remain open only for curbside pickup on Wednesday and Friday from 12-5pm.
- Likewise the Craigleith Heritage Depot will be open for browsing and museum access on Wednesday 4:30-7:30pm and Sunday 12-4pm. Curbside pickup will continue on Tuesday and Thursday from 12-4pm.
Why a Hybrid Service of face to face and Curbside?
We are providing this choice to our community, but we also know this has the potential of added risk. Not from the materials, but due to inside congregating. As such, masks continue to be mandatory in the building. Anyone needing an accommodation MUST participate in curbside and will be turned away from the building as our accommodation plan is curbside access. We will continue to contact trace anyone who enters the building. Those refusing to be contact traced will also be refused access. We also require everyone to keep 2 meters distance between you. With our shelves now open for browsing, we ask you to be aware of your spacing and keep a safe distance from other visitors. Importantly for parents, BMPL is not currently available for after school activities, including for unattended children who wish to hangout. Again, we understand this is a big service we provide to our community, and when it is safe to do so, we will. These decisions fit with both the TBM Mask By-Law and the requirements of our GBHU.
We know our community is tired of pandemic restrictions and we can't wait to gather in our buildings and participate in face-to-face activities; but we do not want to drop the ball on the 10 yardline with the endzone in sight. The Collingwood Today article Green Doesn't Mean Go Ahead And Gather of March 18, 2021 expresses Dr. Arra's (Grey Bruce Medical Officer of Health) concern that our community must stay the course-even though we are in Green. Similar messaging has been released by the province and Canadian top Doctors who are all concerned that our good efforts will be lost in this 3rd wave, and as nice weather begins. Vaccinations are around the corner for all, but so too is the virus and it's more contagious variants. This is evident as we begin to see a growth in cases in TBM and our surrounding communities. We ask you to consider which option for service is right for you, your family and our community. We will monitor use and adjust our hours in April according to what we hear from our community.
Your BMPL team continues to be available at both L.E. Shore and the Craigleith Heritage Depot and we will continue to provide the highest level of services to our community. With the additional sanitizing schedules, contact tracing needs, and increased phone calls, we ask you to leave a message if we do not answer. We are quite busy behind the scenes here, and are returning calls and checking emails regularly throughout the day. We are updating our activities regularly and hope to be able to return to face-to-face programs this spring and summer outside again, with small groups in our facilities soon.
Provincial Vaccine Registration Portal- March 16, 2021
On Monday, March 15th the province activated their online portal and phone system for registering for the vaccination. While the phone system was often busy on Monday, Tuesday had a quick response of the more than 2000 staff registering 80+ and those other priority groups.
BMPL have found that many residents do not have access to print their registration document. If this is the case for you or someone you are assisting with their vaccination, this email may be forwarded to LibraryInfo@TheBlueMountains.ca and we will print it for you and meet you at our curbside pick up door, free of charge.
Additionally, if you are having difficulties calling into the registration portal, and do not have access to internet, you may call BMPL and we can assist you with this process.
Everyone #StayHome and Stay Safe!
Printing Available At BMPL During Curbside- March 3, 2021
In the Recovery Task Force Meeting of TBM today we heard that community members have begun receiving their letters to have their first vaccination. We also heard that some are having difficulties printing these. BMPL can complete printing of any documents for residents as part of our holds pick up. If you are needing your vaccination letter or tax documents (e.g. T4), simply email them to the branch you would like to pick them up at L.E. Shore or Craigleith Heritage Depot. These items will be printed and be free of charge. We will email you as soon as we print them, so expect a quick turn-around. If you prefer a more secure print function than email, you are welcome to use our princh printing service for all print jobs, including these medical and tax documents, but normal rates will apply.
BMPL is here to help in any way you require. If there are types of services or needs you have, please email us or call and we will see how to better serve you and expand our services for all. Remember #StayHome and Stay Safe!
BMPL Continues Curbside- February 19, 2021
The CEO presented to the Board at the February 18, 2021 Board Meeting of the operational decision not to open the buildings to browsing at this time. Instead of opening/closing/and reopening on a weekly basis, BMPL has opted to have a business continuity model and not become part of the problem of spread. The CEO stated, "Just because we can, doesn't mean we should open" our buildings, especially as our Ministry of Heritage Sport Tourism & Culture Industries (MHSTCI) is asking organizations in our sector to promote staying home with the social media campaign #StayHome.
As such BMPLs facilities of the LE Shore branch and the Craigleith Heritage Depot will remain on curbside pickup, virtual programs, and virtual services at this time. This operational decision was supported by the Board, by resolution in the February 18th Board Meeting.
We look forward for a time to open our doors and returning to face to face services as a norm, but we realize this may look different as masking and physical distancing are now being discussed by health agencies as the new normal, even post vaccination.
If you are a patron who has had difficulties in receiving your materials due to poor internet at home or being unaware of the electronic search and holds process, please contact us during business hours and we will assist you to find the materials you desire. We are extra busy "personal shopping" for our community, so if you get the answering machine, please leave a message and we will get back to you shortly. 519-599-3681 ext 5-LES ext 6-CHD. You may also email us.
Provincial Emergency Orders & BMPL Services- February 8, 2021
According to the province, the Stay at Home order will be in place through February 16th. The BMPL will be maintaining our curbside service, with in house accesses not available through Sunday, February 21st. Our decisions on whether to reopen our doors will then be made based on the current standing of the community and health unit, according to the GBHU. As a reminder, BMPL facilities will open to the public, in full or limited access when we are in Green and Yellow. In this level we may also remain in curbside and virtual services only, especially this winter when transmission is heightened. In alignment with the TBM policy on facilities, when we are in Red or Grey we will provide virtual services and curbside services only (no access to facilities). Orange levels will be assessed based on the local TBM conditions. Please remember, if our health unit remains in a Stay at Home Order, we will continue to keep our facilities closed and provide virtual services and curbside pick-up, regardless of the colour/level of our region.
Please remember ALL SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE. Print/copy/fax may be done at either branch at the curbside desk or by using our online print software (preferred for contactless service). All materials are available for loan, including technology and creator space items.
For questions on alternate access to services, please contact our staff by phone at 519-599-3681 Ext 5 for LE Shore and Ext 6 for the Craigleith Heritage Depot. You may also email staff at LibraryInfo@TheBlueMountains.ca or Depot@TheBlueMountains.ca Please remember the buildings are working with skeleton crews for staff health and safety. Most are doing work from home, so email may be faster then attempting to call at this time.
Provincial Emergency Orders & BMPL Services- January 13, 2021
The province has ordered Ontarians to Stay at Home. While libraries are not essential workers, the Emergency Orders identify public libraries may remain open during this period and provide curbside pick-up. Our staff understand this level of access is important to the mental wellness of our community members, and as such we will remain open as long as we are advised to do so. Therefore, BMPLs two locations of the Craigleith Heritage Depot and LE Shore branch will continue to provide contact less curbside pick up during our pandemic hours found on our home page.
We will continue to monitor the conditions in our community and how this service is being used, and will provide updates on this webpage. We ask that all people retrieving materials please strictly follow the curbside pick up process of waiting in your car until the door is clear. Do not stand in a line to wait, as this is unsafe for you, others waiting, and the staff. It is both cold outside (and more comfortable in your car) as well as safest when we limit interactions. When you do approach the door, remember your face mask!
Some of our BMPL staff have been moved out of the branches to work from home on email communication and virtual branch and programs. We apologize if we do not answer the phone when you call. Please leave a message and a staff person, either at the branch or working from home, will be retrieving voicemails and responding to all questions.
If you have a hold and would like to suspend it for a later pick up after this lockdown, you may call us and we will assist or log into your online account to adjust your holds.
Just a reminder, our Gallery exhibit is currently online. If you would like to make a purchase of art or items in our showcase, please call during business hours and our staff will assist with inquiries or purchases.
Curbside Holds Pick Up Starts in January 2, 2021
In light of the recent provincial lockdown, and TBM moving to red or above, the Blue Mountains Public Library will be shutting our doors to in person visits on Wednesday, December 23rd. This will include the regular holiday closure and the week between Christmas and New Years. Staff will be on site but not able to interact physically with patrons. Both LE Shore and the Craigleith Heritage Depot will open for their regular hours beginning on January 2nd for contactless curbside pick-up only.
How do I order my materials?
All materials will be available for hold pick-up only. Patrons may login to the "My Account" on the website and order any items, including equipment. If you do not have access to internet, you may call us during our 2020/2021 pandemic hours (found on our website) and a staffer will be happy to assist you with placing the hold.
How do I pick up my materials?
An email will be sent to you once your materials are available for pick up. If you do not have an email on file with BMPL, we will phone you.
What should I expect when I retrieve my materials?
Once you have received an email that your materials are available, you have one week to visit your branch of choice to pick-up the materials. Please come to the parking lot door of LE Shore or the Craigleith Heritage Depot main door. If others are waiting, please queue and wait in your car so we all stay warm and healthy! Ring the bell and a staff will come to the door. They will then grab your items, check them out, and contact trace the visit while you wait outside at the door, and then place them on a table where you can grab them. Because of this provincial order, we are required to have contactless curbside pick-up only, so there will be no access to our buildings. The table will be wiped down and sanitized between patron pick-ups for your safety.
Can I return items?
All materials can be returned to either of the 3 drop boxes. There is one at the Craigleith Heritage Depot and one at each entry of the LE Shore. As usual, these materials will be quarantined for no less than 3 days before they are actually checked on and removed from your account. No late fees will be charged for this delay.
BMPL will Stay the Course- November 9, 2020
Although it feels like there have been no new major updates for a while, there have certainly been lots of changes in our facilities. Our Team continues to watch the newest information coming out and adjust our own procedures as we continue to provide a healthy workplace and a healthy visitor experience.
Our Gallery Exhibits are once again going, albeit in a slightly different gallery experience.
The Craigleith Heritage Depot is now reopened to the public after the Radon Remediation which closed us down in October of 2019.
We have received many questions on when we will return to regular hours and reopen our stacks. We understand that COVID fatigue is real, but we will stay the course until the pandemic is finished. So, continue to check out this page for updates. Your Blue Mountains Public Library is open for business. Can’t wait to see everyone.
Craigleith Heritage Depot Now Open for Museum Visits-September 29, 2020
The Craigleith Heritage Depot is now reopened to the public after the Radon Remediation which closed us down in October of 2019. Our Depot has 3 distinct areas:
- The Entry, which is where you retrieve library materials, contact trace, and enter for other services. All patrons should wait at the door to enter if another family is in that space.
- The Museum gallery which is open for drop in and by appointment. We require 30 minutes between visitors, so appointments are the best way to guarantee you will be able to visit the collections when you come.
- The Research Room and Computer Station.
When you enter the building you may do so with your group and no physical distancing is needed. This is because you will stay in one of the 3 zones with your group. Masks are required in all our facilities.
If you have questions, please contact our Depot staff who are eagerly awaiting your next visit!
BMPL Board Communication Initiatives- September 10, 2020
The Blue Mountains Public Library Board has made some changes in the way we are doing business during the pandemic to best meet our Strategic Plan Goal of Communication. First, the virtual Board Meeting for 2020 will be broadcast on Facebook, for those who wish to observe. This option will end if the Board returns to face to face meetings in 2020. Parties interested in Deputations may still complete the form to request scheduling. Those interested in participating in the Public Input on the Agenda may request login credentials from LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca any time prior to the day before the meeting. Please note,comments will not be monitored on Facebook as Public Input. Correspondence will be handled as usual. Visit our Communication with the Board for more information.
Secondly, the Board has scheduled a second Virtual Town Hall for Monday, September 29th at 7pm on Facebook. Again, the VTH will be archived on our YouTube Channel as well. The focus of this meeting is being set by the community. If you have questions which you would like addressed, we encourage you to send them to LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca prior to Monday, September 21st at 4:00pm. We will use these questions to plan our discussions. The comment function of Facebook can also be used to pose additional questions during the meeting.
Fall Pandemic Hours- September 8, 2020
Following our opening of the LE Shore and Craigleith Heritage Depot locations, we have further adjusted hours based on peek usage in August. We will continue to monitor and appreciate your feedback.
Pandemic Fall Hours (2020)
Tues & Thurs 11am-6pm
Wed & Fri 12-5pm
Tues, Thurs & Sun 12-4pm
Craigleith Heritage Depot Opens Sunday Aug. 30 2020
OPENING SUNDAY, AUGUST 30th
The Blue Mountains Public Library has been given permission to proceed to our Stage 2 opening of Craigleith Heritage Depot (CHD). Our CEO and staff have developed a reopening plan, approved by GBHU, which takes into account the need for enhanced cleaning and additional staffing in order to meet the health monitoring station required.
BMPL Multi-Stage Plan During the Pandemic
BMPL has a multi-stage re-opening plan for the pandemic. On August 30, we will move to Stage 2, which is a limited opening pickup, dropoff, browse and go, with no indoor programs, public washrooms or museum. Stage 3 will follow in the fall with computer access by appointment, museum by timed appointment. This will be our model for the foreseeable future and include limited access to the facility and no browsing of the main collections. The main collection is available through the holds system.
Maximum capacity at this phase of our opening is limited and patrons will be asked to wait for staff to allow at the door. Only one social bubble at a time will be allowed into the building. Spaces will be marked, to maintain physical distancing in lines waiting to enter. We ask all community members maintain 2 metres distance at all time. We also ask you wear your mask inside the building, as well as when queued up in lines outside, For this reason, everyone should wear a mask when on BMPL property.
What to Expect Upon Arrival
Upon arrival, books to be dropped off will be placed in the outdoor dropbox only, no books brought into the building, unless you are renewing them.
Join the line-up area outside of the door. Wait and watch for staff inside to wave and hold up the NEXT sign through the door window. As you enter, all visitors will sanitize hands and present their library card for contact tracing. Those who are not active patrons will be required to complete a contact tracing form. All visitors will be required to wear a mask. Those with medical conditions which preclude mask use will be provided with a face shield while onsite to be returned. Persons with disabilities and children under 2 are exempted from mask or face shield use.
The hallway and foyer of the building will be available for browsing material display; however, the main library collection will not be available for browsing in this Phase. Holds will continue to be the best option for guaranteeing materials are available to you when you arrive.
Hours of operation have been adjusted for the foreseeable period to align our new staffing needs:
Tuesday 12-4 pm.
Thursday 12-4 pm.
Sunday 12-4 pm.
Computer and Wi-Fi Access
Due to physical distancing, the CHD computer will not be available for PC access in this first phase.
Wi-Fi will be available outside of the facility. Given that no seating will be available inside CHD, it is best to use Wi-Fi from the comfort of your vehicle or seated outside at our tables or benches.
Programs in 2020
Due to physical distancing, the staff are not able to provide any inside programs. Some programs have been planned for outside, such as the Our Military Heritage event on Saturday September 19 outdoors at the Clarksburg Legion. Other programs will remain as virtual programs. Throughout this pandemic we will continue to redesign face to face programs so there is no loss of activities being provided. All programs are promoted on our Event Calendar. As the pandemic proceeds, we will continue to make decisions and release more information.
LE Shore Library Opens August 18th- July 30, 2020
DATE CHANGED-NOW OPENING TUESDAY, AUGUST 18th
LE Shore has the opportunity to have the stone entry floors refinished this summer. As a result, the building will reopen one-week later than planned, on Tuesday, August 18th. Curbside pickup will continue until then.
The Blue Mountains Public Library has been given permission to proceed to our Stage 2 opening of LE Shore Library (LES). Our CEO and staff have developed a reopening plan, approved by GBHU, which takes into account the need for enhanced cleaning and additional staffing in order to meet the health monitoring station required.
BMPL Multi-Stage Plan During the Pandemic
BMPL has a multi-stage re-opening plan for the pandemic. Following the provincial Stage 1 announcement, on June 2 BMPL moved into our 3rd Phase of the organizations plan when we began curbside pick-up. On August 18, we will move to our Phase 3, which is a limited opening browse and go, with no indoor programs. This phase will be our model for the foreseeable future and include limited access to the facility and no browsing of the main collections.
Maximum capacity at this phase of our opening is limited to 15 patrons in the building at a time, so staff will monitor as patrons enter and exit. Spaces will be marked, both inside and outside the building, to maintain physical distancing in lines waiting to enter and exit. We ask all community members maintain 2 meters distance at all time. We also ask you wear your mask inside the building, as well as when queued up in lines outside, as the entry is narrow, and those leaving the building and entering the building, must occupy the same 2 meter space. For this reason, everyone should wear a mask when on BMPL property.
When our Stage 2 begins on August 18, we will be ending our Phase 1 Curbside Pick-Up. At that time our holds program will move from Curbside to indoor holds pick-up only.
What to Expect Upon Arrival
Upon arrival, patrons will be greeted by our Monitoring Station staff. At this station all visitors will sanitize hands and present their library card for contact tracing. Those who are not active patrons will be required to complete a contact tracing form. All visitors will be required to wear a mask. Those with medical conditions which preclude mask use will be provided with a face shield while onsite. Persons with disabilities and children under 2 are exempted from mask or face shield use.
The Gallery and a small section of the building will be available for browsing displays; however, the main library collection will not be available for browsing in this Phase. Holds will continue to be the best option for guaranteeing materials are available to you when you arrive. As no curbside pickup will occur when we reopen, all holds will be retrieved from inside the building.
Hours of operation have been adjusted for the foreseeable period to align our new staffing needs:
- Tuesday 12-7pm. (Opening at 11am for Seniors in the month of August)
- Wednesday 12-5pm.
- Thursday 12-7pm. (Opening at 11am for Seniors in the month of August)
- Friday 12-5pm.
- Saturday 12-4pm. (Opening at 11am for Families in the month of August)
- Closed Sunday and Monday
To better serve our high-risk seniors and families, LES will pre-open in our August weeks at 11am on Tuesday & Thursday for seniors and 11am Saturday for families.
Computer and Wi-Fi Access
Due to physical distancing, only 2 of the LES computers will be available for PC access. To facilitate use, these PCs will be available by appointment and limited to 45 minute slots beginning at the top of the hour. Appointments can be made by calling or using a new online form. Two of the Creator Space editing suite computers are also available to those have been qualified to use these items in workshops. These may also be booked through the online form, with bookings lasting 90 minutes.
Wi-Fi will be available outside of the facility. Given that no seating will be available in LES during our Phase 2, it is best to use Wi-Fi from the comfort of your vehicle or seated outside at our tables, benches, or Muskoka chairs.
Programs in 2020
Due to physical distancing, the staff are not able to provide any inside programs. This include The Gallery receptions or any rentals. Some programs have been planned for outside activities. Other programs will remain as virtual programs. Throughout this pandemic we will continue to redesign face to face programs so there is no loss of activities being provided. One example is our new Kids Club which is taking the place of our After School Club in 2020. Registration is now open for this program. All programs are promoted on our Event Calendar. As the pandemic proceeds, we will continue to make decisions and release more information.
Planning for Phased Reopening of Facilities- June 22, 2020
This week libraries are permitted to begin reopening their facilities to the community. BMPL entered our Phase 1 reopening on June 2nd when we began our curbside pickup. On Tuesday, August 11th, barring any further direction from the GBHU, will be entering our Phase 2 of reopening.
L.E. Shore Library
Due to increased staffing requirements to maintain physical distancing and screening, L.E. Shore will have reduced hours during this phase.
- Tuesday 12-7pm. (Opening at 11am for Seniors in the month of August)
- Wednesday 12-5pm.
- Thursday 12-7pm. (Opening at 11am for Seniors in the month of August)
- Friday 12-5pm.
- Saturday 12-4pm. (Opening at 11am for Families in the month of August)
- Closed Sunday and Monday
More information will follow on the reopening in the first week of August. Curbside pickup will continue until the open, so continue to place your holds and window shop at LES.
Craigleith Heritage Depot
The CHD hopes to reopen in late September. More information on this opening will follow in late August. The CHD Book Return will open Monday, July 27th.
Curbside Holds Pick-Up- May 26, 2020
As of May 26th Grey Bruce Health Unit reports, the TBM community, as well as our two reciprocal bordering communities of Meaford and Grey Highlands have had no new cases of COVID-19 since May 12th. As a result, the Curbside Holds Pick-Up is scheduled to return Tuesday, June 2nd based on the continuation of community success against the pandemic.
Place your hold with us and we will have your materials boxed in a contamination free container for you to retrieve. Pick-up is Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 10am-4pm at the LE Shore parking lot door. There will be no access to the LE Shore building as per provincial orders.
When Should I Come?
Staff will contact, by phone, any person who has requested materials when they are ready to be picked up. Materials will only be set outside for 2 pick-up days before they are checked back in and provided to the next person on the hold list. So please contact us if you are not able to retrieve your materials on the dates your materials are available. If you have changed your phone number, you may contact us by phone or email to update your contact information. Due to high demand of materials, unexpected return times on checked out material, and book quarantine upon return, please expect longer than normal waits for your holds.
How Are Your Making Sure My Items Are Safe From The Virus?
We have taken some extra time to develop a plan that will do just this. According to medical experts, the virus can last up to 72 hours on our print and plastic surfaces. Therefore, when materials are returned, they are quarantined for 72 hours prior to us preparing the hold for pick-up. It then takes us another 2 days to process the holds, box them in the containers, and place outside for you to retrieve them. Therefore, your materials are decontaminated by the time you get them. This mean if you ask for a book which is not already through our quarantine period, it could be upwards of a week before you receive it. We are recommending our community use all precautions at the holds tables. Because you are outside, masks are not required, but are encouraged, and definitely do not touch more than your own box of materials.
What Should I Do When I Arrive?
At the time we process the hold and call you, we will check the items out in your name. So you do not need your library card at pick-up. We ask that only one patron retrieve materials at a time. Other groups waiting, please queue up in your car and wait in turn. This will ensure we keep physical distancing and limit the chance of spread of the virus. Look for your name on the bin and take your materials, but leave the bins. We will be disinfecting these and reusing them. Please remember, only touch the box with your name on it, so we keep the area safe from cross-contamination.
For more information, visit Curbside Pick-Up.
Window Shop for Your Next Read- May 26, 2020
The BMPL Curbside Holds Pick-up Program is tentatively scheduled to start on Tuesday, June 2nd. In preparation, we are developing window displays throughout the L.E. Shore windows. While you may still browse online to find your materials, this is an opportunity to interact with a selection of materials in a physically distant manner. If you find a book, DVD, magazine, or other item you are interested in, you can place a hold on materials from the window displays.
We will continue to stock our windows over the facility closure, so check back often. And if you have an idea for one of our window displays, please let us know.
Visit Curbside Pick-Up for more details.
BMPL Planning Curbside Re-Launch- May 17, 2020
As per the Government of Ontario’s May 14th release detailing Stage 1 openings, public library services may resume for delivery and pickup as early as May 19, 2020.
BMPL is in the final planning for the reinstatement of our Curbside Holds Pick Up. However, at this time we do not have the PPE and proper information which will keep both staff and our community safe. While we all want to have our library and museum open to the public, we also realize that we are a highly used service in the community and must ensure our materials are safe for circulation as well as physical distancing is maintained for both staff and patrons. Currently there is widely varying information on how to do this and we are awaiting the Ministry of Labour data sheets on public library materials and services prior to the onset of roll-out of our first stage of reopening (curb-side pickup).
We are looking at multiple stages to the total reopening of services. These stages may begin as early as June 1st and could take months or years to be fully implemented, depending on the pandemic. All decisions will be based on provincial and health agency information. As a community hub, we miss our patrons, but we will continue to err on the side of safety for our community, rather than rush to provide a service which is allowed, but not properly outlined for health and safety. We are in this together and appreciate your patience. Thank you for the support and good wishes our staff have received throughout this pandemic.
An update will be published on this page following the May 21st Board Meeting,. For questions please contact LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca or call our main number at 519-599-3681 ext 2 and a member of our staff will return your call within one business day.
Lots to do through BMPL- April 20, 2020
BMPL facilities remain closed during this pandemic, and do not have a date planned for reopening at this time. Our staff have all been busy working out of the buildings to provide our digital service model. We know everyone is trying to do their part by staying home and we have lots of things for you to do to keep you busy, entertained, educated and mentally healthy.
Need a Library Card?
No card-No problem. Please complete the form and submit, and a staff person will provide your card number to you. This is a temporary card and we will continue to extend this during the pandemic. When we open, you will need to provide ID showing you are a resident to turn this into an annual card. Anyone, regardless of where you live should have access to the virtual materials offered by public libraries in Ontario. While our service is for those residing within our Town we will not turn you away if you require a card from elsewhere. Please check with your library first. Most Ontario public libraries have staff working at home and this may be a service they are also providing to their community.
Lost/Can't Find Your Card Number?
We've got you covered. Send us an email to LibraryInfo@TheBlueMountains.ca and we will respond with your card number. Staff may need to call you back to ask a few questions confirming your identity to do this.
Need Something to Read?
That's our specialty! We typically have hundreds of thousands of items on our Virtual Branch including e-books and audio books. Children may be interested in TumbleBooks, found on our Virtual Branch. If you want to browse content, we also have BiblioBoard which is our museum online collection and offers great images and content to browse.
Story Time for Children and Families
Our library staff are offering story time 2 days a week, on Wednesday and Friday. We have also linked other story time on our Things to Do at Home page, and TumbleBooks has many read-along audio books as well, found on our Virtual Branch. These are available through Facebook and Instagram. All details are on our Event Calendar.
Missing Your Book Club?
Mary is running a weekly Digital Book Club through Facebook Live every Thursday. Join her and hear what others are reading. This club accepts everyone and you don't even need to share the same book. All details are on our Event Calendar.
Tech problems? No Problem! Ashley is still running her Tech Help program, live every Wednesday at 1pm on Facebook Live.
Our Things to Do at Home page has links to several homework supports, including the Ontario Learn at Home website which offers supports for many of the secondary courses and K-8 literacy and numeracy.
Crafts and Activities
Missing Your Museum?
Even before COVID-19 we were missing the physical access to the Museum due to some remediation needs occurring. We are still moving forward with these repairs, although as you can imagine, everything in the province has slowed down. But no one should go without seeing your CHD staff or hearing our local history. We have many programs to help with this including our Museum Mondays, Cluesday Tuesday, and Friday Museum Talk & Tell & Sketch programs. Checkout our Event Calendar for information on these. We also have great BiblioBoard and other museum collections exhibited on our Virtual Branch and our Virtual Museum and the archived videos of our programs can be found on our YouTube site. As always, you can email your research questions to our Museum staff as well .
Missing your Seniors Exercise?
Instructor Sharon Challis will be offering online exercise classes, every Monday at 10am on our Facebook Page. Gentle aerobics and stretches, follow along at home. These and all our programs are available on our YouTube page, so feel free to redo on Wednesdays as well and keep the usual exercise schedule!
Missing Educational Opportunities?
Our Virtual Branch has many opportunities for you. You can learn a language on Mango. You can take one of thousands of courses on Lynda.com. The students may find some support through Homework Help or the Ontario Learning at Home pages. BiblioBoard will give you opportunities to learn about our local history and even give you a change to add to this knowledge by sharing content and uploading images. We all need to stay home, but it is no reason to lose new opportunities to learn.
Return of Materials
The book returns are still available at L.E. Shore. Due to limited staff travel, we opted to close the bookdrop at the Craigleith Heritage Depot. We apologize for any inconvenience in this decision. While you are welcome to return your items, so you do not have to worry about it, there are no late fees during the closure. We have extended all due dates and will continue to do so for all materials until we are returning to open hours. At this time materials are due back in May, but we will be extending them through June this week. We have also suspended all notices of materials, so you will not be receiving any reminders of items due date until we begin the reopening process.
If you had a hold, you will still be in the holds queue for the books. You may also continue to place holds, but know we will be back logged and not offering the print materials until we partially reopen the building. Those of you who received a notice earlier in the month saying your item is available, you will be contacted with our books are ready to circulate. This message will ask if you still wish to have the item and then you will be given 2 days to retrieve the item. This shortened time is to get our materials moving. If you cannot pick it up in the timeframe, please let us know and we will make arrangements with you.
Subscription Changes to Our Monthly E-newsletter
The BMPL adheres to the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) which requires all email to be subscribed to and for an unsubscribe to be available. The primary means for BMPL to communicate is our once monthly e-newsletter which provides the services available to the community in the coming month. ALL PATRONS ARE SUBSCRIBED into this e-newsletter as part of your library services. This is the primary means of us communicating with our members. Our staff are updating this database this month and some of you may receive a verify your subscription email from our LibraryInfo@TheBlueMountains.ca or EChandler. These are from our website and correct. We commend some of you who noted the message is not from our typical email address-this is because the website, and not our typical email, is the author of the autogenerated verification link and message. Please verify this link so you will receive our future messages on services. You may also add additional subscriptions including:
- In the Gallery-a monthly newsletter on the Arts & Culture programs at BMPL.
- Key Messages-a monthly newsletter from the Board on key actions over the month.
- Kids Zone-a children and family monthly newsletter on activities and opportunities
- Staff Picks-a monthly review of some materials by our staff and volunteers.
For dates and times of our online programs, please check out our Event Calendar. This is up to date and includes all the virtual meetings and activities we are offering. Most programs are being offered on Facebook Live and Instagram. You may also visit our YouTube page for the archived programs we are offering.
BMPL Updating E-Subscriptions- April 2, 2020
BMPL's Georgian College Co-Op student is assisting us by doing updates to our e-newsletter software.
- Library News-our primary communication on services [all patrons are enrolled]
- In the Gallery-monthly blog about arts and culture activities in gallery
- Key Messages-the governance monthly update by the Board
- Kids Zone-Children's program newsletter
- Staff Picks-great reviews by staff on must reads
Over the month patrons and others who have registered for these e-subscriptions may receive an email thanking you for subscribing and asking you to verify the subscription by clicking on the link. This email, from Elisa Chandler, is from us, and not a phishing scam.
EI & CERB Applications by Appointment- April 1, 2020
If you or someone you know requires a computer to apply for the many EI supports being offered by the government, we are here for you. Dr. Sabrina Saunders will be offering the L.E. Shore computers, by appointment to those who do not have access to computers by appointment. This is not an open invitation to computer access, nor is it for people who have alternate options such as a computer at home, a laptop/tablet that can use the Wi-Fi in the parking lot of LES or CHD safely.
The CEO will ask screening questions at the time of booking any appointments, and does reserve the right to refuse any application which does not appear to be for the purposes of this emergent service offer. For an appointment, please contact Dr. Sabrina Saunders at LibraryCEO@TheBlueMountains.ca
BMPL Moves to Virtual Service Model- March 24, 2020
The BMPL library and museum services have moved to a virtual model. Staff are providing story time, tech help, webinars, book clubs online using Facebook. In April our museum will begin providing sessions on fossils and the many items held in the collection. Each of us is working to do our part to end the spread of this virus, and while we would prefer to meet face to face with our community to provide these services, we are excited to try this new service model. Don't miss any of our events and programs. Please check out our Event Calendar for new programs.
We've mentioned this several times in previous posts, but our Virtual Library is open 24/7. Please use this as a main link to find so much more than just electronic books. If you haven't investigated this site in the past, please do. We also have another page we have loaded for you, Things To Do At Home. This page has links for homework assistance, crafts, thousands of pre-recorded story times, links to children's games, and more.
The book return at LES is available and checked regularly, while CHD bookdrop is closed. We apologize for this inconvenience, but this limits the amount of traveling our staff need to do daily. All materials have been extended and late fees have been dropped at this time. Also, if your library card is scheduled to expire between now and May 31st, we have extended your card. For those who do not have a card, you can now apply online and we will provide you with a temporary card to get your access to our Virtual Branch during COVID-19. It is important to us that no one goes without the educational and recreational services.
Province Closes Non-Essential Businesses- March 23, 2020
With today's closing of the province's non-essential businesses effective Tuesday night, we will be following this direction and shutting down our holds system and keeping staff at home as of Tuesday. Any holds which were received will be available for pick up on Tuesday between 11am-4pm and then these will be held until the province allows businesses to reopen using the physical distancing protocols.
If you have materials that you wish to be returned, these can be dropped off tonight and on Tuesday until 4pm. After that the book drop will be locked until non-essential businesses who can provide a physical distance of 2m or more between staff are allowed to reopen.
Town Facilities Closed Through March 16-April 17, 2020 2:00pm
The Town of the Blue Mountains Council met today in Committee of the Whole to, among other business, hear a report by TBM staff on COVID-19 and services/facilities.
At this meeting all buildings have been closed, while services will be continuing online and virtually. Please view the TBM COVID-19 Information for Town-specific information. The Blue Mountains Public Library buildings were included in this closure through April 17th.
How Can You Access BMPL Materials During Our Shutdown?
The BMPL Staff are working today and Tuesday to set up a temporary service model.
- Our Virtual Branch is always available online 24/7 for reading and entertainment materials. There are great resources that all community members should investigate.
- We also are establishing a new Things To Do At Home page which includes links to children’s games, activities, stories and programs online. These will also be promoted on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
- Additionally, in light of the shutdown, we have enhanced our holds programs in order to provide materials to those who are interested:
- Place your hold online at https://olsn.ent.sirsidynix.net/client/en_US/bluemountains/ [Your login is your library card, your pin is the last 4 digits of your phone number on file]
- While you may request more than 6 items (e.g. DVD, book, etc), we will limit the number of items we pull each day per person based on the size of space we have to make this service work. Request daily if this works better for you, but please do not stockpile, as we cannot house our entire collection outside.
- Just like our typical holds notification, we will contact you via email or phone when the item(s) you have requested are available. We will then place them on the new Holds Carts at the parking lot entrance. Different from our typical process, is that these items will be held for a maximum of 2 days on the cart only and be outside between 11am-4pm. On poor weather days, we will move these carts into the outer vestibule on the parking lot side. While we allow typical holds to be there longer, we just do not have the room to do this, so please ask if and only if you can get here to retrieve it. If you can not pick up on the day we offer the materials, please let us know and we will hold putting those materials outside.
- When you come to retrieve your book, it will already be checked out to you. Simply take it. ONLY TAKE BOOKS IN YOUR NAME! Read the label of first and last name as last names are often common. Please remember these books are not for browsing.
- It is important to keep the social distancing rule of a minimum of 6.5 feet, so please do not line up in a queue. Remain in your car. Wait if there are others. And of course, enjoy your materials. [Social Distancing definition increased from 5' to 6.5' by Health Canada]
- Any interlibrary loan materials which have been received via Canada Post will be on these carts, but no new materials can be ordered as libraries across the province have shut down.
- Please note this is a pilot program and one unique to our library. We are trying new services as long as it is practical, it is safe, and as long as there is no abuse of the protocols listed above, including the social distancing protocol.
- We also have a give-away cart. This is clearly marked. Any community member may grab and go from this cart. Please do not return these when you have read them. They were scheduled to go to our book sale anyways.
The BMPL staff will be working shifts on site to complete the phone and internet questions, as well as to provide the new service model. The building is closed and we will not respond to any inquiries face to face.
Again, please continue to watch the Service Updates & COVID-19 webpage for ongoing updates.
L.E. Shore Closed Sunday & Monday-March 15, 2020 10:00am
In light of the ongoing spread of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to act responsibly and work within the social distancing protocols Health Canada has recommended. We understand that while the BMPL staff have been diligently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces hourly and have cancelled group activities and programs, the staff cannot guarantee a social distance of 5 feet at this time.
The Town of The Blue Mountains Council and the BMPL Board will each be meeting on this matter, and more information will be released when available. It is important to note that we have not set a lengthy date of closure. If decisions to open the facility during the week is made, we will work as a staff to reconfigure our service to best support social distancing in our public building. The closure on Sunday and Monday, will allow our staff to best react to this situation.
While it is a very difficult decision to balance public service needs against the public health needs; we believe this is the correct decision for our community at this time.
Our Virtual Branch is still open, as are book drops and wi-fi at both locations.
For Town information related to COVID-19, please visit: www.thebluemountains.ca/covid-19.cfm
Programs & Events Cancelled March 13, 2020 4:00pm
In partnership with the Town of The Blue Mountains, all programs and events have been cancelled or postponed until at least Monday, March 23rd. TBM and the BMPL Board will be assessing the situation in the coming days. At this time, L.E. Shore remains open regular hours. The Craigleith Heritage Depot remains closed for renovations and remediation. Our Event Calendar is up to date.
Check out the TBM COVID-19 page for local information. If you are not already subscribing to the TBM e-blasts and the BMPL E-Newsletter, these are a major method for communication with our community. We encourage you to subscribe today!
Letter from the CEO-March 13, 2020 2:00pm
The World Health Organization has now defined the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a pandemic. As a result, Canada, Ontario, Grey County and The Town of the Blue Mountains are each moving forward with plans to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community and staff. The Blue Mountains Public Library (BMPL) is doing our part by evaluating our services and types of programs we will be offering in March Break and in the next weeks.
Health service agencies advise the best practice is the regular washing of hands, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth, congregating in large groups of people, and social distancing (5 feet between people). If you are sick we ask you not visit the library.
Importantly, we are working to balance public service with public safety. Each community will make plans that best meet the community and work to limit further spread. As such, we will continue to work with our government partners and amend our plans based on their advice. Updates will be posted to our website regularly.
While some activities and events have been cancelled or postponed, at present, there is no change to our hours or services, and most regular programs are continuing as planned. Our Event Calendar will be updated regularly and registrants will be notified by email of March Break changes. In order to keep our L.E. Shore (LES) open and mitigate spread of any virus, we have added some enhanced procedures:
- Throughout the Library, you will find hand sanitizers. There are stations at each entrance, at both circulation desks, and at each of our seating area. Additionally, we have put up signage at each of these stations explaining how to properly use hand sanitizer. The best method of cleaning hands is, of course, 20-30 seconds of hand scrubbing with hot water and soap in the bathrooms.
- Please return all materials through the book drops. One is located at the Craigleith Heritage Depot, one at each entrance of the LES building, and another inside LES at the circulation desk.
- We have added additional janitorial cleaning of high-touch areas, and added cleaning duties of our staff for high touch transfer areas (e.g. tabletops, door handles, chair arms, keyboards, mouse).
- Some toys and games have been removed as it is impractical, at this time, to try to maintain cleaning protocols of these.
How do I participate in BMPL Services without entering the building:
- Our Virtual Branch is a great place to find reading materials while you are home. We have online collections from the Craigleith Heritage Depot, e-newspapers and magazines, audio and e-books, movies, and music.
- Call or email us and we will extend your material loans. You may also self-renew by logging onto our online system and renew your materials. If you receive a notice that an item cannot be renewed, please call during business hours and we will ensure no late fees are applied.
We will use the new Services Update and COVID-19 on our website to communicate service changes due to COVID-19 and our E-Newsletter to announce any major changes, should they occur. Again, if you are not subscribed, we encourage you to visit our webpage and subscribe to our e-newsletter.
Dr. Sabrina Saunders
Blue Mountains Public Library CEO
519-599-3681 ext 2
Authoritative Information about COVID-19
Information from Local, Provincial and National Agencies
- COVID-19 Vaccination rollout
- The Town of The Blue Mountains
- Grey Bruce Health Unit
- World Health Organization
- Government of Canada
- Government of Ontario
- COVID-19 Public Resources Public Health Ontario.
- Be prepared (COVID-19) (Infographic) Government of Canada.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Be prepared factsheet Government of Canada.
- Know the facts about coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Government of Canada. Available in multiple languages.
- About coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Government of Canada.
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public World Health Organization.
Talking to Children About COVID-19 (Coronavirus):
CDC Hand washing Videos