During the pandemic, libraries around the world have been on the front lines of creating access and equity for all people, including here in Airdrie.
If you were a college or university student in the early months of the pandemic, and you had to move to online learning, you may have discovered that your free library card not only gave you access to the Alberta Research Portal – a gateway to world-class primary sources – but you would have also found LinkedIn Learning, which is an educational site with thousands of video courses.
Some people have had their employment hours cut or lost their jobs, and the library has become an engine of opportunity for them by offering free Wi-Fi and access to computers and on-site printing, (services that are available without a library card, by the way).
This kind of equitable digital access allows for job-searching, resumé-building, and a stress-free way to stay in touch with loved ones.
For families who suddenly found one or both parents working from home amid the pandemic – often with kids who would normally be in daycare – the library became a means of providing educational and entertainment materials for their children and themselves.
Since the start of the pandemic and through the closures APL has since navigated, our many programs have pivoted to virtual formats, we’ve distributed free craft supplies for everything from preschool to adult programming, put together book bags for families with sick kids, and offered curbside pick-up services when we couldn’t be open.
The point of all this is that when times get tough, your free library card continues to provide equitable access to the world of opportunity contained in your public library.
For more information on APL’s programs and services visit airdriepubliclibrary.ca