Prince Rupert Library’s programing come back faces new pandemic challenges

·2 min read

The Prince Rupert Library has had many ups and downs over the past year-and-a-half due to COVID-19, and with super-hero strength will rebound again with the launch of its 23 discs of Marvel Cinematic Universe DVDs on Aug. 24.

What started as a single DVD donation has transformed into a complete series of more than 50 hours of family viewing.

Chief librarian, Joe Zelwietro, said he prefers the Marvel graphic novels to the films but recognized the demand for the movies from library patrons and completed the series collection for them. As the new movies from the franchise are released, they will update their catalogue accordingly, he said.

The superhero series is popular with both adults and kids. Zelwietro was gearing up the library over the summer for the students returning to school in anticipation of a full reopening. He has since had the rug pulled out from under him when the province announced new COVID-19 regulations.

The library had planned on extending hours and resuming programming, but now the return of stricter pandemic restrictions is making it difficult for them to follow through with their vision.

“I’m scared of what it means for our in-house programming,” he said. “Our children’s programming, especially, won’t be the same. It’ll be the same as the past year and a half, but not as it used to be when we had twenty [or] thirty children in here.”

The library tried online programming, but it wasn’t as successful as in-library programming. He said adults are still coming in, but not for the programs like before the pandemic started.

“It’s a bit disappointing because I thought Rupert was pretty well vaccinated,” Zelwietro said.”But behind the scenes, we’ll still keep working.”

In the meantime, the library is undergoing a refresh of its juvenile non-fiction collection, running monthly reading challenges and building an entire Prince Rupert Daily collection.

Though the near future looks disappointing, Zelwietro says there is something to look forward to.

“In 2022, the Prince Rupert Library will be celebrating its one-hundredth birthday,” he said. “So that’s a big thing.”

Norman Galimski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View

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