DATE:  April 30, 2020

Media Release

For immediate release

Chatham-Kent Public Library Branches Remain Closed During Pandemic

All branches of CKPL remain closed in compliance with the provincial order regarding closure of all non-essential businesses in Ontario. This means that access to physical collections such as books and magazines cannot be accommodated at all eleven branches for at least the length of the emergency order. CKPL Administration has received clarification through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries that public access to physical collections in any form, even through curbside pickup or direct delivery, is not allowed under the provincial order. We recognize that many of our residents are missing the high quality of library service that CKPL provides but we are just not able to provide access under the current order and given that library staff are laid off or redeployed.

The Library continues to provide free access to a wide array of online services and resources for reading, education and entertainment, including ebooks and e-audiobooks, e-magazines, movies, music, and more. Please visit www.ckpl.ca/download to explore the virtual library. Also, residents can apply for a virtual library card from the comfort of their home by completing the online form here: www.ckpl.ca/virtualcards. In addition, wifi signals are available at all eleven branches for those who may not have reliable Internet access at home. It is imperative that physical distancing measures be observed while accessing this service.

CKPL has “redeployed” one of its 3D printers to Vitesco Technologies (formerly Continental/Siemens) to help double their production of personal protective equipment for local medical professionals. As well, some library staff have been redeployed to Riverview Gardens, Chatham-Kent’s long-term care home, to help their essential staff focus on resident care or to the Emergency Shelter to help our vulnerable population during this challenging time. CKPL’s courier van is currently on the road delivering COVID-19 test kits to local long-term care homes. CKPL’s popular Seed Library has been distributed, this year, to local food banks to be shared with those who are in need.

“These are just some of the ways that CKPL has remained active and relevant in the community. While our libraries are currently closed as part of the fight against COVID-19, staff have done their best to continue to contribute to the community in meaningful ways.”