The Calgary Library is providing access to free mental health and addictions support, health information, and referral to services.
Go to the Central Library to meet with a mental health professional and get immediate care for emotional or mental health challenges. This free service is available afternoons and evenings, on a drop-in basis.
In partnership with Wood’s Homes. This initiative is generously supported by the City of Calgary, RBC Foundation and donors of the Calgary Public Library Foundation.
In Edmonton, outdoor library services set up for homeless
The Edmonton Public Library is taking some of its operations outside to give the city’s homeless a place to read books and magazines, use a laptop computer or participate in adult classes. Called EPL on the Square, the pilot project has three designated areas in Sir Winston Churchill Square for outdoor library services. The initiative is a collaboration between EPL and the City of Edmonton, was launched five days after the Edmonton EXPO Centre closed as a temporary drop-in day shelter. The city, social agencies and the province have been working on a plan to find hundreds of physically distanced spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic since the EXPO closed.
Halifax Public Libraries encouraging people to get outside
The Halifax Public Libraries have made changes so working outside is more attractive. This includes pushing the public WiFi out into the fresh air and providing seating to reduce the likelihood of congestion; allowing borrowed electronic devices like Chromebooks and iPads to leave the building. “When they sign that iPad out, they can actually go take that outside now, and they can sit outside and use the free WiFi and use the library’s iPad to access information, or to watch a film or read an ebook,” says Kachen.
Halifax Public Libraries and Museums offer free reusable cloth masks to those without access
Each person can request up to two masks per immediate family member. They’re adjustable and come in both adult and youth sizes.
Free Internet Connectivity Kits from the Library provide vital connection for some of Toronto’s most vulnerable residents
Toronto Public Library (TPL), in partnership with Renewed Computer Technology and with support from the Toronto Public Library Foundation, recently launched its Internet Connectivity Kit program. The initiative provides vital connections for some of our city’s most vulnerable residents by equipping them with a free laptop and WiFi hotspot with four months of unlimited data. Participants will keep the laptop and Wi-Fi hotspot at the end of the program.
Toronto Public Library to offer free WiFi in two parks The city is teaming with the library to give residents free internet access in neighbourhoods hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic
The week-long pilot project Wi-Fi on Wheels begins on August 4. The Toronto Public Library’s bookmobile will travel to two parks in areas hit hard by the pandemic and provide free internet during the afternoon. Anyone can bring their own device to the park to connect or temporarily use a city device. City devices will be sanitized between use and staff will assess users to ensure they do not have COVID-19 symptoms. Toronto Public Health data shows that the northwest parts of the city are being most affected during the coronavirus pandemic. As of the weekend, the Jane and Finch and Rexdale areas had 511 and 496 cases, respectively.
All the things the library has done for Halifax residents since shutting its doors for COVID-19: the city’s unofficial social worker.
Here’s a list of what Halifax Public Libraries has been able to do so far:
- Reorganized website to prioritize virtual services and brought whole programs online through the Virtual Library.
- Upgraded the E-Library to make in-branch services like PressReader and Ancestry available at home; introduced new online resources like Kanopy, RomanceBookCloud, Public Library Online and TumbleBooksMath.
- Set up an Ask the Library phone line to connect with and provide assistance to our community.
- Provided snack packs for families
- Loaned community organizations some technology items, including wifi hotspots and Chromebooks to a couple of shelters, and books and games to a children’s service provider.
- Set up portable toilets at Halifax Central Library
- Worked with Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) to offer virtual tax clinics
- Shifted staff to lead content for the Human Library Videos (storytime, how-to’s), social media and website blogs.
The Grande Prairie Public Library has 31 mobile hotspots for borrowing
Each device can be borrowed for about 3 weeks. The GPPL is partnering with the Government of Canada’s Emergency Support Fund, Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, and Telus to make the wifi units available. The coalition is designed to allow all residents in Grande Prairie to have access to online resources.
Library and museum staff helping in seniors’ homes during pandemic
More than 50 people who used to work in Bruce County’s libraries and museums have been asked if they could work with seniors instead. To date, the former librarians and archivists have just been screening people as they enter the nursing homes, but they’ll soon be trained to take residents to meals, clean bed pans, organize rooms, and eventually, even answer some call bells.
How public libraries are helping Nova Scotians: bookmobile, loaning out tablets, etc.
“We’re more than just some reading material,” said Troy Myers, chief librarian of South Shore Public Libraries. “So we want to do what we can to make sure those social connections are maintained.”
Regina Public Library putting its servers to use crunching COVID-19 data
Through a partnership with [email protected], four of the RPL’s servers and five computers from its Digital Media Studio are hard at work crunching data that scientists around the world are using to research COVID-19.
Newfoundland libraries adapting to isolation world with move to digital
Includes support in how residents can use virtual libraries to hold book clubs, learn things, go digital, etc.
Canada’s libraries step up to help vulnerable people during pandemic
In Toronto, nine TPL branches have been converted into food distribution centers in the past few weeks, in partnership with three local food banks. In Montreal the Grande Bibliothèque, the largest library in Quebec has been transformed into a daytime respite space for homeless people.
Kitchener Public Library has a Twitter thread of staffs’ pets enjoying some reading
Regina Library offers a Twitter thread on hand washing
It can be tough to teach proper hand washing to kids. So the library put together a thread of kids books as hand soaps.
Canadian Libraries Respond to COVID-19
With public libraries across Canada suddenly shuttered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, library leaders and workers across the country are quickly adapting to still serve people, primarily online. This article describes some of the initiatives across the country of libraries or library staff.
Mississauga Library’s electronic collection to almost triple through sharing plan with Burlington and Hamilton: Over 151K total electronic titles available in agreement
As part of the agreement, Mississauga library users could borrow up to 10 items in total from the Hamilton and Burlington electronic collections and place five more titles on hold. Mississauga library users would still be permitted to borrow 10 items from their local system, and place 20 titles on hold.
Toronto Public Library (TPL) providing brand new books for children, free of charge, in food hampers being distributing through its pop-up food banks
When clients visit a food bank at a TPL branch, library staff will add an age-appropriate book for each child in a family who is interested. TPL’s food banks have been set up in partnership with North York Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread Food Bank and Second Harvest in nine library branches across the city.
Library Shelf Isolation Read-a-thon
Fundraiser for the Calgary Public Library Foundation. A Shelf Isolation Read-a-thon combines our need to self-isolate, reading, community and supporting the Library.
The Ramara Public Library is offering new services to help those who want to obtain services during the closure of the library due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Offerings include online resources — from learning new languages and computer skills, to learning new hobbies, gardening, health, business, ebooks and audiobooks, emagazines, and a poetry contest!