EPL on the Square Launches with City of Edmonton and Edmonton Public Library

Limited library services now available at Sir Winston Churchill Square

For immediate release:

EDMONTON, AB, August 6, 2020 — The City of Edmonton is collaborating with the Edmonton Public Library (EPL) and community partners to launch EPL on the Square, opens a new window. This pilot initiative activates three areas of Sir Winston Churchill Square and provides select library services outside.

“The City of Edmonton is pleased to collaborate with the Edmonton Public Library on this new and innovative project at Sir Winston Churchill Square,” said David Aitken, Chair of the City of Edmonton’s COVID-19 Task Team. “We will continue to work with our partners in supporting individuals experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.”  

Following the Edmonton EXPO Centre’s closure on Friday, July 31, the City of Edmonton has been working to continue to support Edmonton’s homeless and vulnerable communities. In collaboration with the Edmonton Public Library and other community partners, EPL on the Square will provide Edmontonians with free WiFi, access to laptops, single-use materials (books and magazines), drop-in classes and more. 

“The Library continues to play a meaningful role in building a better community,” said Pilar Martinez, CEO of EPL. “We understand the importance of supporting Edmontonians during this challenging time and are happy to be collaborating with the City of Edmonton and community partners to connect Edmontonians with library services in a temporary outdoor setting.”

EPL on the Square will offer drop-in educational and engaging physical distanced adult activities, such as conversation circles, adult storytimes, book clubs, and a clothing repair clinic. Library services are available Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. as of Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Downtown community partners from Boyle Street, Bissell Centre and Homeward Trust will join EPL’s Outreach Workers to provide resources and support and connect Edmontonians to more community services.

While the expected primary audience is Edmontonians experiencing homelessness, EPL on the Square is open to everyone. The Square will not be closed off and will continue to allow pedestrians to pass through using signage and fencing to direct customer movement.

The health and safety of our staff and customers remains our top priority. Alberta Health Services (AHS) has approved the site, and EPL and the City of Edmonton continue to ensure practices align with public health guidelines.



About the Edmonton Public Library

The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) is proud to be 2014 Library of the Year! We’ve come a long way since 1913 when books were all you could find on our shelves… and we’re just getting started! Today, EPL carries everything you care about. We are Edmonton’s largest lender of all manner of information and entertainment. Our professionally trained staff take you beyond Google with the knowledge, discernment and desire to help you navigate a universe of information. The second most visited place in Edmonton, every year EPL hosts over 15.4 million in branch and online visits across our 21 branches and website. We deliver our incredible content to you everywhere – in the library, at home or on your handheld device. Unmatched access and unrivalled value – that is today’s EPL. EPL is a registered charity and relies on donations to enhance services. Spread the words. www.epl.ca/give, opens a new window

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Media Contacts:
Marina Afonso
Communications Specialist
Edmonton Public Library
Marina.Afonso@epl.ca, opens a new window | 780-819-4337

Carol Hurst
Senior Communications Advisor
City of Edmonton
Carol.Hurst@edmonton.ca, opens a new window | 587-987-7166