Last Updated on September 1, 2020 by

YGK News spoke to Kimberly Sutherland-Mills, Manager of Programming and Outreach at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library (KFPL), about branch operations and what students can expect come September.

KFPL’s sixteen branches across the city of Kingston and Frontenac County closed in March amid the COVID-19 crisis, but are now returning to normal with health and safety measures in place.

Students encouraged to use space

As the KFPL’s phased reopening plan progresses and a new school year approaches, Sutherland-Mills encourages students to continue utilizing the library’s services and materials.

“I know a lot of Queen’s students use our spaces for quiet study,” Sutherland-Mills said. “For Queen’s students, our Central, Isabel Turner, and Calvin Park branches are probably the ones they use most often, and those are open with limited hours and reduced capacity.”

Masks are mandatory, hand sanitizer is supplied at the door, and patrons are asked to limit their visits to one hour. Plexiglass has been installed across branches, and furnishing and equipment have been rearranged to encourage social distancing.

Incoming and outgoing print materials are quarantined for 72 hours prior to distribution or returning to shelves, during which time patrons may see their returned items still show as ‘on loan’ on their accounts. However, the quarantine period is accounted for by the KFPL and patrons will not be fined.

“We’ve also increased our regular cleaning, and we sanitize and disinfect regularly,” Sutherland-Mills told YGK News. “Our maintenance and facilities team are on it, especially high-contact areas like washrooms, stair railings.”

In addition, KFPL has implemented a contact-tracing system for staff members, though not for patrons.

Services offered

Sutherland-Mills outlined several programs of interest to students, including Coder Dojo, which teaches basic coding, and Art Hive, which provides tutorials on crafts projects. Previously delivered in person, both have transitioned to KFPL’s YouTube channel.

“Our Central branch has a Create Space with a sewing machine, computers with the full Adobe Creative Suite on them, and 3D printers,” Sutherland-Mills added. “We have a tool bench as well. [The Create Space] is open by appointment starting in September.”

KFPL also offers a plethora of digital resources, including cloudLibrary, Digital Magazines, and PressReader, a platform providing patrons with access to international newspapers and magazines.

Basic library services like reserving books and renewing library cards are operating as per usual.

Larissa Zhong is the Campus Editor for YGK News