City of Winnipeg ends 24/7 dropoff and pickup at Transcona Library after person starts sleeping in vestibule

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The City of Winnipeg is changing the hours of the Transcona Library’s book dropoffs and pickups after a person started sleeping inside the vestibule, on one occasion barring the door from the inside.

The library vestibule has been open 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 2019 to allow customers to return books and pick up holds.

A person without housing has been sleeping in the vestibule and on one occasion barred the door, said Tamara Forlanski, a communications officer for the city, in an email to CBC News.

Staff have tried to connect the person with community crisis workers, and security workers have done checks during the evenings and weekends, Forlanski said.

The barred door created a risk to the person in the event of a medical emergency or fire and affected customer access, she said.

As a result, the city will begin locking the front door of the Transcona Library after hours.

Transcona Coun. Shawn Nason said he’s disappointed that a situation involving one person couldn’t be resolved through other means.

“If we’ve locked that vestibule, where is that person going to go? We haven’t resolved the issue. Let’s find this individual and continue to try to work to find support,” he said.

For now, customers will only be able to use the book return and the smart locker when the library is open.

A new external book return chute will be installed as soon as possible, the city said.

“I do hope that this is a temporary change and that we can go back to using these lockers, because it is convenient for people in off hours, because we do have some strange hours at our libraries,” Nason said.

Overdue fines will not be charged and hold fees for items that aren’t picked up will be waived until Aug. 15.

If people wish to return items after hours, the closest locations are Henderson Library at 1-1050 Henderson Highway or Munroe Library at 489 London St., the city said.


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