Submitted by Blair McFarlane
Pioneer columnist 

We are open! The library moved to curbside service only from Jan. 27 through Feb. 8. This was done out of an abundance of caution with the new COVID-19 cases in town at that time. All staff members are well and happy to serve you inside the library again! We are open to browse shelves and checkout materials, access print, scan and fax services, computer use, and we are resuming free exam proctoring. We greatly appreciate your patience and understanding during this unpredictable time. Read on to see what’s new and upcoming at the library!

 We have three new Verilux Happy Light LED therapy lamps available to checkout. These lamps mimic the positive effects sunlight has on people, and provide a boost in mood. Ideal for folks suffering from any degree of seasonal affective disorder, or low mood from little sunlight. Honestly, in this age of COVID-19, we could all use a little mood booster. Families can sign one out along with one of our Mindfulness kits—kits with books and activities to help learn about mindfulness and letting go of anxiety.

Income Tax Assistance: We are once again offering our free tax clinic for simple income tax filing. Instead of in-person appointments this year, we are asking participants to bring their tax forms (T-slips) and valid ID to the library anytime we are open. We will gather the forms and some basic info, and then our tax volunteer will process it, keep in touch with you by phone, and let you know when it has been filed. To be eligible: Income must come from employment, pension, disability or social assistance. Income for your family must be at or below $35,000 (one person); $45,000 (2 people); $47,500 (3 people); or $50,000 (4 people). You are not eligible if you are self-employed, have a business or rental income, or have filed for bankruptcy. Please contact us with any questions at 250-342-6416.

Another exciting update is that we have decided to go fine free as of Jan. 1, 2021! This decision was made to reduce barriers and promote equitable access for all members of our community. There will still be charges for lost or damaged materials. Thank you for returning materials on or before the due date so others can access them.

A huge thank you to the Friends of the Library! With their incredibly successful Christmas Silent Auction that had to be moved online at the last second, along with their innovations for the summer book sales this year, the Friends have raised $7,000 for our library! We don’t know what we’d do without you!

Please check our website and follow us on Facebook or Instagram for updates on new books, programming, and other services.