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Apr 18, 2024

Frances Morrison Central, Carlyle King, Dr. Freda Ahenakew & Mayfair Libraries hours change

Beginning Monday, Apr 22, 2024, the hours at the Frances Morrison Central Library, Dr. Freda Ahenakew Library, Mayfair Library and Carlyle King Library will change to 10 am – 6 pm, Monday to Saturday. Sunday hours will remain 1 – 5:30 pm.

Saskatoon Public Library (SPL) aspires to be an organization that reflects the community we serve and to be a welcoming place for everyone who calls Saskatoon home. Whether reading books to kids, providing quiet study spaces, helping newcomers settle in Saskatoon, or creating social opportunities for older adults facing social isolation. We also strive to provide many essential services such as providing computer and washroom access for those who are in need and being a safe, comfortable judgement-free place where you don’t have to buy anything. However, we can’t fulfill our mandate to inspire lifelong learning and support the development of literacy skills by sharing collections, spaces, programs, and services while also being the place for people with nowhere else to go.

Over the last few years and months, we have witnessed a reduction in community services available to Saskatoon’s most vulnerable people. At the same time, we are seeing the number of people living in difficult situations increase. We cannot fill the gaps caused by our community’s lack of critical social and health infrastructure. We can’t be a place to sleep, to store large amounts of personal belongings or to use drugs and alcohol. We can’t be the primary access to washrooms or climate-controlled environments during evening hours. People come to the library to find information about support services in times of need, but our employees cannot refer people to community services that are unavailable or over capacity due to a lack of resources.

We take our responsibility to provide a welcoming, safe and harassment-free environment for library patrons, employees and contractors very seriously. The decision to reduce hours at some locations was not taken lightly. It was informed by consulting with employees about the challenges they face providing library services, particularly in the evenings when many support services have closed and in response to the increase in complexity and severity of security incidents in and around library spaces. This change will enable us to better support employees and the public by having more people working during our open hours and providing more managerial support.

As community needs change and evolve, so does our approach to providing library services. Saskatoon Public Library has worked hard to respond to the rapidly changing needs of the community. Sadly, the needs are beyond our ability to respond right now. In the coming days and months, we will engage more deeply with our employees, the public, and local, provincial and national partners to find solutions that enable us to continue to fulfill our core mandate of providing public library services across Saskatoon.