The community connections forged by Kentron Beals and the team at Halifax North Memorial Public Library were only strengthened through facing the challenges of COVID-19 together, apart. From friendly check-in phone calls, to physically distanced 'hugs' at Curbside Pick-up, to seeking out emergency funding for a family in need; the role of Community Navigator is one that Kentron Beals lives wholeheartedly, every day.
María Ojeda and Colleen Fraser met in English Language Learning Tutoring (ELL) at Alderney Gate Public Library in February 2020. The pair was just getting comfortable with the ins and outs of tutoring sessions when the pandemic hit.
During COVID-19 related Library closures and beyond, at a time when reliable health and wellness information was critical, and a caring voice could mean the difference between uncertainty and security, there was no better place to turn than the Library.
When Yashika Sally joined the Library's People & Culture Team as a Human Resources Assistant in February 2020, she and the whole team did not expect to be thrown into the territory of onboarding staff from home. True to her ambitious and caring nature, Yashika quickly found a way to help the Library simplify and modernize its payroll processes-a behind-the-scenes feat that has had significant positive impact across the system.
When the Library’s doors closed due to COVID-19, the Creative Studio doors remained open for Cohen’s innovation. Having been inspired by the heroism of medical and frontline workers, and encouraged by his Supervisor, Alison Froese-Stoddard; Cohen took it upon himself to take the 3D printer home and begin creating ear savers—clasps for masks that remove the pressure of bands from around the ears.
In 2020, while Libraries were closed, Community Librarian, Ella Leving, used her love for poetry, video creation, and Nova Scotia’s beautiful landscapes to deliver a soothing Poetry Afternoon video series to connect with her community from a distance.
Providing and increasing access to technology devices, online resources, and WiFi throughout the pandemic and Library closures ensured our community could access rapidly-changing health information, stay connected, and seek free entertainment.
In March 2021, Halifax Public Libraries welcomed a new team member: Amani Saleh, Newcomer Engagement Specialist. Read on to learn more about Amani, how she can help you, and how to get in touch!
Tara Taylor is Halifax Public Libraries' first-ever Artist in Residence. Funded through the TD Ready Commitment for African Heritage Month 2021, Tara's residency will touch and draw from all branches of Halifax Public Libraries; she will host some workshops; and her creations will be made accessible for viewing and experiencing both in-branch and online.
Available to read in both English and Arabic | Curbside Pick-up is open for service! Contactless pick-up is available at all locations of Halifax Public Libraries.