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Coquitlam Library responds to heat wave

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By: Jay Peters

Both Coquitlam Public Library branches are open and welcoming customers.

On Sunday with the temperature hitting record highs, the Library relaxed its COVID occupancy limits to allow all customers into the Library, asking only that people maintain physical distancing. With large numbers of people in the Library as the normal Sunday closing time approached, Library administration decided to keep the buildings open until 7:30 pm to keep people out of the heat.

Executive Director Todd Gnissios said, “When I told our customers at the Poirier Branch that we were staying open longer, they expressed relief. One pregnant woman with two young children was extremely thankful and stayed for several additional hours enjoying our children’s iPads and books.”

COVID restrictions have limited numbers of customers in the Library over the past year. On Sunday the Library relaxed its restrictions to meet community need for a cool space. The City Centre branch peaked at almost 200 people in the Library at one time, and over 775 people visited over the course of the day. The smaller Poirier Branch had a peak number of 67 with over 343 visiting during the day. To meet this demand, the Library added seating and opened up long-closed study rooms and quiet spaces. People also sat on window sills and anywhere they could find to stay out of the heat.

Both Library branches are open 9 am to 9 pm through Wednesday, June 30. On Canada Day, the City Centre Branch will be open 10-5, and the Poirier Branch will be closed. Holiday hours will be reassessed based on the heat and community need and any changes will be announced on Wednesday.

“The number of people in the Library is climbing rapidly this Monday. I am pleased that our cooling systems are working and taking the strain, so while the temperature is rising people can be comfortable. Unfortunately, the heat has impacted our outdoor programming, so please visit our website for updates on our services,” continued Gnissios.

For Library hours and services, please visit coqlibrary.ca.

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