About 100 Regina Public Library employees laid off due to coronavirus pandemic

After closing all locations in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Regina Public Library says it had to lay off about 100 of its workers.

“There were a number of staff positions that we didn’t need. We decided to undertake temporary layoffs,” said Jeff Barber, RPL CEO.

“We do anticipate those people to come back once we are back to normal and have them here.”

READ MORE: Regina Public Library extends free Wi-Fi outdoors after COVID-19 temporarily shut its doors

He said the decision wasn’t taken lightly.

“We have an awesome staff and we hear that from our customers regularly. It is a very difficult decision, a very unfortunate decision to have to make,” Barber said.

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“In the world that we are in right now, we do need to keep offering services…at the same we are a public organization that needs to be balancing our accountability and services.”

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RPL has nine locations across the city, and plans to reopen when given the green light.

READ MORE: What you need to know as Saskatchewan starts first phase of reopen plan

However, libraries weren’t specifically mentioned in Saskatchewan’s reopen plan, but Barber said RPL is working on what it will look like when it opens it doors.

“It’s a very challenging puzzle to be putting together. How can public libraries open in a safe way for staff and a safe way for the public,” Barber said.

Approximately 80 RPL staff are still employed.

1:57 What you can and can’t do in Saskatchewan as more coronavirus restrictions eased

What you can and can’t do in Saskatchewan as more coronavirus restrictions eased

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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