Hamilton's Central Library branch on day two of reopening following the 2020 COVID shutdown Credit: Joey Coleman / The Public Record

Hamilton’s largest library branches will resume Monday and evening hours beginning as soon as October 5, Chief Librarian Paul Takala announced Wednesday during the Hamilton Public Library’s monthly Board meeting.
Central, Dundas, Red Hill, Terryberry, Turner Park, and Waterdown branches will open an hour earlier at 10:00am on weekdays. These branches will remain open until 9:00pm Monday to Thursday with limited services after 6:00pm. 6:00pm to 9:00pm will be quiet study hours and only self-service options available. Theses branches will close at 6:00pm on Fridays.
The official date of expanding hours will be announced by the Hamilton Public Library in the near future.
The HPL plans to expand Saturday hours at all branches to 10:00am to 5:00pm. Presently, branches open at 11:00am.
Sunday hours will not resume in 2020. Takala says library management will make a decision in November regarding Sunday hours for 2021.
“Inequalities in our community that are being exasperated by the pandemic”, Takala said. He says that many neighbourhoods in Hamilton have less access to technology – both high speed internet and computers. For this reason, the library is prioritizing the Barton, Concession, Kenilworth, Sherwood, and Parkdale branches for the second phase of expanded hours. The plan is to have these branches opened six days a week with Monday to Thursday evening hours shortly after the first groups hours is expanded.
The plan for “Group 3” library branches – the remaining urban branches – is to expand to six days per week at a future date. The rural branches, many of which had non-staffed self serve hours prior to COVID, will be reviewed at a later point. The library hopes to resume non-staffed self serve eventually.

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First published: September 15, 2020
Last edited: September 15, 2020
Author: Joey Coleman
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