There’s a movement afoot to find groups to partner with the Highgate library branch.
It’s one of the ideas being put forward to shore up usage of the small-but-mighty branch and successfully maintain services.
“We’ve been asked to further investigate ways to boost the Highgate branch,” says Tania Sharpe, “and see if there is programming or services that can be offered.
The Chatham-Kent Public Library’s chief librarian made the comments following an information report at a recent library board meeting.
Housed in the Highgate Community Hall, the branch currently has 262 active borrowers, 165 from the village proper, says Sharpe.
Prior to the pandemic renovations were carried out at the library outlet to improve safety and accessibility.
“Highgate is a well loved branch,” Sharpe notes. “The community values it.”
It’s currently open on Mondays from 4-8 p.m. to accommodate patrons.
Like other Chatham-Kent libraries, Highgate is offering a “hybrid service” which allows three people inside at once. Two can browse and one can use a computer, plus there is pre-order curbside pickup.
The hybrid approach is in use, Sharpe explains, so all the libraries in the system can “pivot quickly, if we need to, in order to protect our staff and patrons.
Statistics for library use was also released at the meeting.
The system has 33,000 registered patrons in the Chatham-Kent Public Library system, but Sharpe says the number of users is likely higher, as a single card is utilized by multiple family members.
A total of 826,000 items were circulated throughout the system in 2019 and 84,000 questions were answered, either in person or by phone.
“We’re an information provider,” Sharpe adds. “We connect people to resources.
She hopeful the Highgate community will come up with ideas that could see increased usage of the library.
Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald