Public library branches and museum prepare to re-open

·3 min read

After weeks of closure, the Bruce Public Library and the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre in Southampton have announced both facilities will open for in-person service at the beginning of March.

All 17 branches of the library will open on Mar. 1 for regular in-person service. Curbside pickup will still be available to residents who prefer to not enter the building.

In keeping with public health regulations, library patrons will be required to wear a face covering and observe the two-metre social distancing recommendations while in the branch. Computers will be available for use, by appointment.

The library has launched the grab and go bag, for patrons looking for new reads in a variety of genres. Library staff will pre-bundle a number of fiction reads, including fantasy, thrillers, diversity, and award winning books that can be preordered and picked up by patrons.

The library is also making provincial park day passes available on a loanable basis. The vehicle day passes are valid at any Ontario Provincial Park, including in this area, Inverhuron Provincial Park in Tiverton, MacGregor Provincial Park in Port Elgin and Sauble Falls Provincial Park in Sauble Beach. Everyone within the vehicle will receive free admission. The Library suggests contacting the park in advance to ensure its hours of operation and to make a reservation, if necessary. Passes can be reserved in the library’s online catalogue or by contacting the local branch.

“Bruce County Public Library continues to find new ways to meet the needs of our communities,” said Brooke McLean, director of library services. “Our grab-and-go bags provide a convenient way to borrow a bundle of books in a socially distant society, and the park passes make it more affordable to spend time in nature at one of our beautiful provincial parks. We appreciate the support of Ontario Parks in providing these passes.”

Residents that do not have a library card can visit www.getacard.brucecounty.on.ca, to access the online registration form.

The day after Bruce County library branches open, the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre will welcome back visitors.

On Mar. 2, the museum will open its doors, keeping the safety of staff and visitors top-of-mind. Protocols set by the province and public health will be strictly followed. It asks that patrons continue to follow the three w’s during visits, including wearing a mask, washing hands and keeping a two-metre distance. As some visitors may not feel comfortable visiting in-person, virtual activities and online programs, will be available.

The Museum will be open from Tuesday through Saturday, and close for an hour each day between noon and 1 p.m. to sanitize and clean.

As it opens to the public, the museum has announced a number of new displays.

“We are very excited to be welcoming back our visitors and members to the Museum again to explore Bruce County history,” said marketing coordinator Stephanie Crilly. “We have new exhibitions that are ready to be discovered.”

Trailblazers, created by The Canadian Centre for Gender + Sexual Diversity (CCGSD), recognizes the lives and work of 12 remarkable individuals who have acted as a voice for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and advocated for equal rights and freedoms in Canada.

It is also offering a new permanent exhibit, entitled Earth’s Climate in the Balance. The digital exhibition will answer many questions concerning climate change.

The winter programming, including Virtual Adventure Talks and Museum in a Box, are available. Visit www.brucemuseum.ca to learn more about all programs, and to purchase tickets.

The rebooted education centre was launched in January 2021. Educators now have the options of taking their classes on virtual field trips and can find resources in one easy-to-navigate place on the museum website.

Tammy Lindsay Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent