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.
SERVICES 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.
SERVICES AVAILABLE BY RESERVATION
SERVICES 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
KEEPING 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
OTHER QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.