Traffic is down considerably at the library. File photo

Visitor numbers down 66% at Rossland Public Library this summer

Library director said cancellation of face-to-face programs one contributing factor

Visitors to the Rossland Public Library have decreased drastically since it reopened to the public with limited operations on June 23.

Library director Beverley Rintoul said traffic at the library has decreased by almost 66 per cent when comparing late June to early September in 2020 to a typical year.

The cancellation of face-to-face summer reading club meetings at the library this year is one contributing factor to the decline in visitors, stated Rintoul.

“While kids were still able to access and complete the program entirely online this year, we only had about 30 of them that signed up for it,” said Rintoul.

“Typically, at least 90 kids sign up for the program every year.”

Books and Babies is another popular fall program that has already been cancelled at the library. It’s still unknown if Strong Start and Junior Book Club, two other popular fall programs, will go ahead this fall too.

The library will continue it’s Adult Book Club this fall but only six people will be able to attend each in-person meeting.

Rintoul notes that people can still participate in virtual book clubs.

“The Kootenay Library Federation has stepped up and is offering two online book clubs, including one for adults and one for teens,” said Rintoul.

“It’s really exciting because they often get the authors to attend the book clubs. That’s something that’s difficult for us to do.”

The library has also resumed its inter-library loans service for people, according to Rintoul.

“Between June 23 and up until two weeks ago, we were only lending our own library materials to people,” said Rintoul.

“With the service, we can now lend around 11 million library items from up to 72 different libraries in the province.”

Different types of library material that people can access with the inter-library loan service includes audiobooks, movies and library books.

When people return library materials, staff quarantine it for at least 72 hours to mitigate the threat of COVID-19.

The library is also also expanding its hours and will be open from Tuesday to Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. starting Tuesday, Sept. 8.

READ MORE: Rossland Public Library reopens with limited capacity


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