Gradual reopening on table for Millennium Library: union
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The City of Winnipeg could resort to a partial, pandemic-style return to the Millennium Library before it fully reopens to the public after a recent stabbing death, according to the union that represents facility staff.
“They’re going to reopen in the same manner that they did (after) the COVID shutdown, but they’re not going to return to a full reopening with (normal) public access until after the Christmas break,” said Gord Delbridge, president of Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500.
The downtown library has been closed since Dec. 11, when 28-year-old Tyree Cayer was stabbed to death inside the building. Four teenage boys have since been charged in his death.
While the city did not confirm the potential plan shared by the union, Delbridge said Wednesday he expects the library will resume some services in the near future, such as allowing patrons to reserve and pick up books.
He expects visitors won’t be able to browse materials or use other in-person library services until sometime in the new year, adding exact reopening dates are still being worked out.
“I think that’s all dependent on how quickly we can get moving on… additional security measures,” said Delbridge, stating those steps are also still being discussed.
The union leader said he expects many staff would support a gradual reopening, since some are concerned about returning to work without new safety measures in place.
“If they were going to (just) open the doors again… it was very likely that some (staff) may not have wanted to go back.”
A city spokeswoman said discussions are still underway on how best to reopen the library branch, indicating a final decision has not been made.
“We’re still discussing details with staff and the union. We will have more details to release once we’ve concluded those discussions,” communications director Felicia Wiltshire said in a written statement.
The city added no Millennium Library reopening date has been established.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.