Due to unexpected staffing challenges, the Whitehorse Public Library is operating with reduced hours for the remainder of this month.
From July 12 to 31, the library will be open on Mondays from noon until 6 p.m., and on Tuesday to Sunday it will operate from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While the hours on Friday to Sunday remain unchanged, the library previously closed at 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, meaning the facility will see an eight-hour reduction of hours weekly until the start of August.
Despite an initial announcement to the contrary, the staffing shortage will impact library programming. According to a July 13 tweet from Yukon Public Libraries, the in-person Summer Reading Club program for youth aged six to 12 will be cancelled for the remainder of the month.
The drop box, e-library and other online resources will operate normally during this period.
“I would say that we’re really committed to providing library services to the community, so we want to continue to do that […] We still have the e-library and other online resources that are available 24/7,” Melissa Yu Schott, the Yukon’s director of public libraries, said.
According to Yu Schott, Whitehorse’s library has a minimum staffing number required to operate the library safely. The library is struggling to meet that minimum staffing requirement, which has resulted in reduced hours.
“So that’s why we have this measure so that we can still provide service seven days a week,” she said.
The adjusted hours of operation are only in place at the Whitehorse Public Library and will not impact libraries in other Yukon communities.
When pressed on whether the reduced hours could continue beyond July 31, Yu Schott told the News, “At this stage, we plan to return to our regular hours in August. And so, we don’t see that changing.”
She added that if staffing issues persist longer than anticipated, “we’ll sort of adjust as we need to and sort of make the decision at the time.”
Contact Matthew Bossons at firstname.lastname@example.org