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Fort Macleod Library serves the community

Fort Macleod Library continues to serve the community through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Town council last week reviewed the library’s annual report, which showed the facility remains a hub in the community.

“We’re very fortunate to have the library and the staff that work there who take care of all of us,” Coun. Kristi Edwards said.

Edwards, who represents council on the library board, shared the annual report during her committee report at the Feb. 8 meeting at the G.R. Davis Administration Building.

Edwards noted the library checked out 42,292 items in 2020, including 6,255 downloads of e-content.

“That was a lot of check-outs, even with COVID,” Edwards said. “They were closed for a good portion of that.”

Due to the public health measures put in place by the province to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Fort Macleod Library was open for just 1,782 hours in 2020.

The reduced hours led to a decrease of just over 50 per cent of activity at the library in 2020.

There was a 56 per cent decrease in use of the library’s collection last year, due to the pandemic.

The library reported that 1,195 people had memberships in 2020.

Fort Macleod Library added 1,279 items last year, bringing the total collection to 25,257 items.

The library offered 51 programs for children and 109 for adults and seniors along with 154 for families. Those events attracted a total of 19,376 participants.

In addition to the items in its collection, the library has five computers for public use.

The library’s wifi had 10,160 connections in 2020.

Edwards noted the Fort Macleod Library load items from its collection 4,861 times last year.

The local library also brought in 17,630 items requested by Fort Macleod patrons from other libraries.

“That’s a lot of stuff moving around from all over the place,” Edwards noted.

Edwards noted that in addition to the 14 paid staff members, 37 people volunteer in some way for the Fort Macleod Library.

“There’s some really interesting uses of volunteers in our community,” Edwards said. “Before I got on the (library) board I never realized how much volunteerism happens at the library itself.”

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