COVID-19 Recovery: One Year Later

As we open our doors to the public again, it’s hard to believe that it’s been one year since we first began experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic, dramatically altering our society and economy, pushing us all to reset, transform and respond with agility. I would like to thank you, our community, for your continuous support of the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) as we navigated the last year—you were right there adapting alongside us. I would also like to acknowledge EPL staff for their longstanding commitment to providing exceptional customer service, no matter the circumstance. Although our services and operations look different, EPL staff have remained dedicated to supporting you, and the communities we serve, through innovative ideas and flexibility.

Throughout this year, EPL stayed true to our vision of enabling learning, engagement, and possibility for all Edmontonians as we transformed our services. To ensure you were able to maintain access to library materials, we launched Library Takeout Service, Library Express Checkout and Personal Picks Pack. We shifted our in-person classes and events to online, resulting in over 1 million views of our EPL from Home videos. The overwhelmingly positive response to these initiatives was encouraging as it was clear EPL made every effort to continue to meet your needs during an extraordinary time. 

A year later, we have all grown from this incredible hardship. We have persevered and learned to be more resilient, adaptable and grateful. As more of our families, friends, and neighbours receive vaccinations, we remain hopeful as we embark on new beginnings. EPL is thankful for your patience and kindness, and we are thrilled to welcome you back safely into our libraries where we can all continue to learn, create, and grow together.

For a glimpse of what reopening has meant for EPL staff, watch this video as some of our staff share their stories from our first week of reopening. 

Pilar Martinez
Chief Executive Officer
Edmonton Public Library