In response to the challenging times that we are experiencing together regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give props to some stellar local businesses who are stepping up to serve our great community.
Featured this Week:
Gravenhurst Public Library
The Gravenhurst Public Library was founded in 1883 as a small Mechanics’ Institute and grew to a larger Library housed in the Carnegie Building with a $7,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie in 1923. In 2000, an even bigger space was purpose-built for the Library at 180 Sharpe Street West and that is where they called home for the last 20 years. What makes the Library special is their relationship with the Gravenhurst Archives, their outreach connection to numerous community organizations, the wide variety of their collection and their dedicated group of staff and board members.
Like so many organizations and businesses, Covid-19 significantly affected the Library. At the start of the pandemic, they were forced to close their doors to the public. Typically, the public relies on and accesses the Library on a daily basis – such as for accessing materials, use of the computer workstations & WiFi or to attend programs. With the Library’s closure, they had to get creative and do some reinventing. They launched a curbside pick-up service and found ways to connect with people via phone, e-mail, and social media. They also went as far as to deliver materials to people who were unable to visit the Library.
The Gravenhurst Public Library also produced high-quality virtual children’s programming this past summer that was made available through their social media accounts. While the volume of programs offered has reduced since the end of summer with students having returned to school, the Library is still offering virtual Storytime on Tuesdays for pre-schoolers and on Sundays for adults. They are currently planning to launch some new virtual programming in late fall geared to kids ages 6 to 12.
Looking to the future, once the Gravenhurst Public Library re-opens to the public, patrons will be required to wear masks and to sanitize their hands before entering. Plexi-glass guards will be in place at all desks. The Library will also be limiting numbers and length of visits to 45-minute appointments as to allow staff the chance to clean between patrons. Visitors will be able to use the public workstations, access the WiFi, browse the shelves, as well as print, scan and fax with staff assistance. The curbside pick-up and delivery service will remain available as well.
With the Library’s closure they have also been able to complete some much needed upgrades to the building’s interior such as new paint, carpeting and a yet-to-be installed new front desk. They have also added new moveable shelving to the main floor so that they can open it up and use the space in the future for larger programs.
We are simply blown away by the ingenuity and resilience that the Gravenhurst Public Library has shown through this pandemic. We want to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of everyone from their team to persevere through these challenging times and to continue to look for ways to serve our great community. Thank you to everyone from the Library!!
If you know a local business who deserves a shout out, send us a direct message with a photo and why they should be featured.
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