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Current Services

WE’RE OPEN!

Red Control COVID-19 Level Service Changes

As of Monday, November 23, the Ontario Government has placed Waterloo Region in the red control COVID-19 level. To keep our staff and members safe we are making some changes to our in-person services:

  • Reduced occupancy limits of visitors at all locations.
  • Fewer study and WIFI spaces.
  • Study and WIFI sessions will be reduced to 1 hour only, including in our study rooms.
  • Exam proctoring is unavailable.

Please review the information below for a full list of available and unavailable services, as well as the safety and cleaning measures that are in place.

All Idea Exchange locations are open Monday to Saturday, 10:00am-6:00pm. Complete the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire before your visit.

checkmarkSERVICES THAT ARE CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

Services are available by visiting a location or by reservation. Contact free pick-up is available during open hours, by request.

Online Resources and Virtual Programs are always available from the comfort of your home. Sign up to receive more information about services and programs via your inbox with e-news from Idea Exchange.

booksPick-up Holds and Browse Materials

person using computerStudy Tables and Wi-Fi Access

person readingOld Post Office: Discovery Centre and Riverview Room

people viewing artCambridge Art Galleries Exhibitions

printerPrinting, Photocopying, Scanning, and Faxing

SERVICES AVAILABLE BY RESERVATION

person using computerLimited Computer Access

ruler, pencil, paintbrushOld Post Office: Makerspace and Creative Studios

people meetingMeeting Rooms and Room Rentals

red X symbolSERVICES THAT ARE UNAVAILABLE

  • Extended in-person visits
  • In-person programs
  • Social or group seating
  • Toys and play areas in all Children's departments
  • Virtual Reality
  • Print newspapers

home with heart insideKEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE

We have implemented public health recommendations to ensure the safety of our staff and members. Health and safety measures include:

  • Limiting our visitor capacity and practising 2-metre physical distancing at all times
  • Having staff and visitors follow Region of Waterloo’s mandatory Face Covering By-law
  • Isolating all returned materials for 96+ hours
  • Providing hand sanitizer and requiring visitors use it upon entrance
  • Requiring members to limit the length of their visit
  • Asking visitors to practice good hand hygiene and cough/sneeze etiquette throughout their visit
  • Using acrylic protective shields at all staff service points
  • Enhancing our cleaning protocols, including regular sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and equipment.
  • Continuing contact free Pick-up Service at all locations by request
  • Not allowing food or spillable drinks

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell, have a fever, new cough, or difficulty breathing
  • Complete the COVID-19 Screening Questionnaire before visiting an Idea Exchange location
  • Wear a face covering. If you are unable to wear a face covering, reserve materials can be picked up at the door.
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Sanitize or wash upon entrance to the building and frequently throughout your visit
  • Limit the duration of your visit

For more information, please review our Safety and Cleaning Procedures. Please follow all posted instructions and refer to the Code of Conduct for our full policy on visiting Idea Exchange locations.

OTHER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE

IS IT SAFE TO BORROW MATERIALS?

All possible precautions are being taken to ensure that items are safe to handle. Any items returned will be isolated for the recommended period, minimum of 96 hours, prior to being loaned out again.

As an added precaution, seven (7) additional days have been to every loan period to ensure that you have enough time to pick-up items and leave them untouched for your own quarantine period before using them. Until further notice, there will be no overdue fines on materials.

WHY ARE THERE NEW FINES ON MY ACCOUNT?

Items that were borrowed prior to the March closure may incur overdue fines. But don't worry! These fines will be waived when the item is checked in. For more information, see our Borrowing information.

WHY DID I RECEIVE AN EMAIL ABOUT MY ITEMS BEING OVERDUE?

Courtesy notices are sent out when items remain checked out past their due date.

If you have received a notice for materials that you have returned, please be aware that all items remain checked out on your account for a minimum of 96 hours for quarantine. Don’t worry though, 2020 is fine free!

If you have not yet returned your item(s), you can do so through our external drop boxes, which are open 24/7 at Clemens Mill, Hespeler, Preston, and Queen’s Square. For more information, see our guidelines on Returning Materials.

WHY AM I BEING ASKED TO LIMIT THE LENGTH OF MY VISIT?

Idea Exchange is committed to ensuring the wellbeing of our members and staff with enhanced safety rules and cleaning procedures.

All precautions (as noted above) are based on the recommendations of Public Health and Government officials, including the requirement that all members and staff wear a face mask or covering, practice 2-metre physical distancing at all times, and limit the length of time spent in contact with one another.

For more information, please see available resources from Region of Waterloo Public Health, Government of Ontario, and the Government of Canada.

WHEN CAN I PICK UP MY HOLDS?

You will be notified by telephone or email when your item(s) are ready for pick up. After receiving this notification, you can stop in at any time during our open hours.

Sign-in to your library account at any time to check the status of your holds.

HOW DO I RETURN MY ITEMS?

External drop boxes are open 24/7 at Clemens Mill, Hespeler, Preston, and Queen’s Square for returns. For more information, see our guidelines on Returning Materials.

All returned materials will be held in quarantine for a minimum of 96 hours. During this quarantine period, the items will remain checked out to your account. This helps reduce possible exposure of COVID-19 for staff and reduces the risk of cross contamination to other materials and equipment.

Don’t worry though, 2020 is fine free!

CAN I BROWSE THE PHYSICAL COLLECTIONS?

Yes! You are able to browse our collections in-person at all locations. Some collections including children's picture books, easy readers, and board books are not available to browse, but staff assistance is available to help you select items. Holds can still be placed on these items by using the online library catalogue. Board books can be placed on hold by contacting staff directly.

The maximum number of members allowed inside each location at a time is posted at the front entrance. Staff may ask you to wait outside until other members exit the building. Please follow all visitor guidelines and limit the duration of your visit, to allow others to browse the collections as well.

HOW LONG CAN I BORROW ITEMS?

Seven (7) days have been added to loan periods. 1-day loan materials, such as new DVDs, have been extended to 14 days. These extended loan periods give you enough time to leave your materials untouched for your own quarantine period before using them.

For more information about loan periods and renewals, please see our Borrowing guidelines.

CAN I PRINT A DOCUMENT?

Printing, photocopying, scanning, and faxing is available. Wireless printing is also available. Debit or credit payments are encouraged, but cash will be accepted.

At this time, there is only limited staff assistance available, as everyone must maintain physical distancing at all times. Need more help? Call us or ask us online.

CAN I USE ONLINE RESOURCES WITHOUT ENTERING THE BUILDING?

By signing up for an Online Membership (Cambridge residents only) you can immediately start accessing our Online Resources. Visit an Idea Exchange location for a full membership.

If you already have a card but need it renewed, fill out our Membership Renewal Form.