Returned items still showing as "out" on accounts:
Due to recent findings from the REALM project (REopening Archives, Libraries, and Museums) we now are required to quarantine all returned items for 7 days prior to checking them in. If you have returned items that are still showing as "out" on your account, please wait 7 days to verify they have been checked in before calling the Library. No fines will accrue during the quarantine period.
Interlibrary loan waiting times:
You will find that your "shipped" items are taking longer than usual to reach our Library.
There are several reasons for this:
The most apparent reason for this is the 7 day quarantine now in effect for Library materials. At every stop an item makes along the route to fill a request it is placed in quarantine. For example, a book coming from Grande Prairie will be sent first to its system headquarters. Once there it is quarantined for 7 days before it is re-routed to Northern Lights headquarters. It will be quarantined there for 7 days before making its final “in-transit” leg to Tofield where it is placed it in quarantine for an additional 7 days before you will be notified that your hold is available for pick up. Additionally, many libraries are operating under altered hours and staffing and may not be filling or transferring holds regularly.
Another major reason for longer waiting times is a cut in deliveries to the library. Until recently we enjoyed access to a government courier service. Libraries could send items directly to other libraries daily. This is no longer the case. We will not have access to this courier in the foreseeable future.
Items requested from other libraries now need to be sent to system headquarters. From there it is sorted and sent out by van to member libraries. Tofield receives 1 shipment a week from Northern Lights. This indirect transfer of materials to and from other libraries is our current method of shipment. This is the case for both TRAC and non-TRAC materials (for example, if you return an item borrowed from Edmonton, it goes first to Northern Lights before being returned to Edmonton).
The status of “shipped” doesn’t indicate that the item has been packed, picked up, or cleared the first or second leg of its journey. It is a general indicator that the item is on its way. Smaller libraries may have only a once-a-week pick-up scheduled.
As we adjust to new safety practices, we may be moving slower, and more deliberately than in the past. We look forward to the time when we no longer need to work with the current restrictions. In the meantime we thank you for your patience and understanding.