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Library service returns to Ethelbert

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Parkland Regional Library (PRL) is closing the gap on library service in the Parkland.
PRL regional director Jean Louis Guillas announced Ethelbert joined the library system that serves 21 municipalities with 23 branches.
“The residents of Ethelbert will have access to library service for first time in many years,” Guillas said, noting residents will no longer need an external borrower card.
“The service will be supported both by the RM of Ethelbert and the Province of Manitoba.”
The ultimate goal, he explained, is to establish a small branch-level service, but it has been difficult securing a space in the community.
In the interim, Guillas said, PRL has decided to offer an electronic service, as well as use of any of the other PRL branches in the Parkland.
Due to current circumstances, he added, PRL will offer residents the option of receiving books in the mail, as well.
“And we’re able to do that, because libraries have a special mail rate that makes it possible to do that kind of thing,” Guillas said, noting mail out is available in municipalities formerly served by the now retired bookmobile.
PRL is working with the RM of Ethelbert to find a space to establish a small branch, he said, which would provide 10 hours of service a week.
With a library card, Guillas noted, residents have access to a variety of library services online.
There is also a small book drop in a corner of the community health building, he said, which will be changed every three months, until PRL finds a permanent space.
Fewer books will be available, than if Ethelbert had a branch, Guillas noted, and will be based on the honour system for check out and returns.
“Their volunteer one has been working for two years already, so some of the residents are making use of that and we’re going to continue with it,” he said.
PRL also plans to reach out to the Manitoba Housing building and Ethelbert School to determine if it can assist with books, as well.
“It’s a small community and you have to think creatively,” Guillas explained.
To set Ethelbert residents up with membership cards, PRL is hosting an open house, Dec. 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the RM of Ethelbert office.
Residents must bring one piece of identification with an address, to sign up for a PRL library card.
PRL staff will be on hand to demonstrate how to use its electronic service.
The RM has offered great support, Guillas said, and the community has proven there is a desire for library service in Ethelbert.
While it has taken a while to get the project going, Guillas is pleased PRL will offer what it can, until a permanent space is found.
Anyone needing a ride to the RM office for the open house, may call Judy at 204-742-8818.
Residents may sign up for a library card after the open house at any of PRL branches.
For more information, contact PRL at 504 Main St. N, by calling 204-638-6410 or visit parklandlib.mb.ca.

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M. A. Nyquist
REPORTER
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