The Haliburton County Public Library (HCPL) is bringing curbside pickup to its smaller branches in Highlands East.

HCPL announced Nov. 2 it would begin bringing books to patrons in Cardiff, Highland Grove and Gooderham for the first time since the pandemic began. People can place a hold on books for a once-per-week pickup day. The pickups will begin next week.

Branch services librarian Erin Kernohan-Berning said the small size of those branches makes opening them difficult due to the enclosed spaces, but they worked out a plan to at least provide curbside.

“Opening those branches wasn’t really an option,” Kernohan-Berning said. “Curbside, because it was successful in our larger branches, could be an option.”

HCPL has run pickup at its larger branches since June 25, including Dysart, Minden and Wilberforce. The three branches have also been open with limited hours since Sept. 8.

Kernohan-Berning said while navigating running libraries in a pandemic, staff have tried to be careful not to add too much at once. Getting service to smaller branches waited while HCPL worked through reopening larger ones. But with that going well, she said the time was right to expand services again.

“Needed to be able to find our feet each time we did something new,” she said. “I can definitely understand and definitely feel the frustration with some of the patrons in Cardiff and Highland Grove and Gooderham. They haven’t had library service in their community since March and that’s tough.”

Holds at the three branches can now be made through haliburtonlibrary.ca, or by contacting info@haliburtonlibrary.ca or your local library branch.

Kernohan-Berning said she expects a fair amount of demand for the three locations. She added although the library has a substantive online collection, people still want physical books.

“The library is more than just books, but this is definitely a reminder books are certainly an important part of the service,” she said.

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