Skip to content

Category: COVID-19

Public Health Orders

Posted in COVID-19

Manitoba Library Association has reached out to Manitoba Government Inquiry, and attended an information session on September 10 concerning Enforcement of Public Health Orders for Non-Profit Organizations.

At this time, public libraries are not specifically addressed in the Orders and may open without restrictions. However, masks are required in all public spaces, including public libraries.

Reporting of COVID-19 cases in the workplace still apply to all businesses.

Provincial Health Orders currently do not require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of exemption for employees or patrons of public libraries. Public library organizations wishing to implement vaccine requirements for patrons or employees may seek to do so through their governance structure.

Public Health Order

Posted in COVID-19

The Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) recently sent out an email clarifying the Public Health Orders regarding libraries. See below.

Library Community,

In response to enquiries regarding the latest Public Health Act Orders
[1] our department has confirmed that galleries, museums and libraries
are permitted to provide outdoor programming. Please note that the
maximum gathering limits for outdoor public spaces is currently at 25

Order 29 is intended to refer to facilities which are required to be
closed to the public at this time. Public Health Act Orders are updated
regularly and it is important to keep informed as changes occur [2].
Libraries are advised to work closely with their municipalities to
ensure the safe provision of outdoor services in accordance with Public
Health Act Orders

If you have general questions related to the provision of outdoor
programing and Public Health Act Orders you may contact Manitoba
Government Inquiry [3] by calling 204-945-3744 or 1-866-626-4862
toll-free or email to

Denise Weir
Library Consultant
Public Library Services
Manitoba Sport, Culture, Heritage
(Pronouns: she/her)

Manitoba Moves to Code Red on Thursday, November 12

Posted in COVID-19

On November 10th, the Provincial Government issued a news release announcing that, due to the recent COVID19 surge in cases, the entire Province was moving to Critical (or Code Red) on the Pandemic Response System.

As part of the news release, the Province’s Code Red Backgrounder provided information to the public about what was considered critical services, and further that libraries were required to close. See the Public Health Order for more information.

PLSB issued a communication in the early afternoon to all public libraries, rebroadcasting the News Release and advising, in part:

Public Library Services (PLS) encourages your library to follow all applicable response measures and related Health Orders. Libraries should confirm local response measures with municipal authorities and keep current with alert levels, health orders and response measures posted to the Pandemic Response System web page.

PLS recommends that your library work closely with your municipal partners to create plans for temporary changes to service levels.

MLA has received confirmation from PLSB, that public libraries:

‘can remain operational (curbside service, e-services/virtual programming etc.). All library staff need to continue to practice physical distancing, mask and hygiene protocols’

A MLA member public library has also advised it has received the following response from Municipal Relations:

A business or facility that is required to be closed under the Preventive Health Orders (this includes libraries) may continue to operate in order to provide goods by delivery or pick-up that have been ordered online, by telephone or other remote means. If a business or facility allows members of the public to attend to pick up goods, the operator must implement measures to ensure that members of the public attending are reasonably able to maintain a separation of at least two metres from other members of the public.

In a news conference on November 10th, Dr. Brent Roussin, Manitoba’s Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, indicated that the length of the widespread closures may be in effect for a minimum of two weeks and up to four weeks (4 weeks being two incubation periods of the virus). See this CBC News article for additional information.

Survey Results

Posted in COVID-19

MLA is pleased to have released the results of our COVID-19 survey last week. We received responses from 44 of 55 public libraries in Manitoba, on how they have responded to the pandemic. The survey results can be accessed here.

We would also like to share survey results from a similar COVID-19 survey conducted by the American Library Association of over 2900 public libraries in the United States. Please see those results here.

Closer to home, the Manitoba Federation of Non-Profit Organizations released a preliminary report of the 176 responses to its survey. Please see those results here.

Participation of public libraries and other organizations in these surveys provide useful information to all libraries both in real-time and in the future. We encourage you to take a look at the results!

CULC/CBUC Think Tank Survey

Posted in COVID-19, and Uncategorized

We have received a special invitation from the CULC/CBUC Think Tank on Recovery and Reimagined Library Services Post COVID-19 to complete a survey.

The Think Tank is looking for input from senior management, staff, vendors, and those connected to the public library community. The goal is for a final report on May 21st

DEADLINE:  Survey will be left open, but the data will start analysis on May 8th. Please contribute by then.  

Thank you in advance for your input.




Easing of COVID-19 Restrictions in Manitoba

Posted in COVID-19

On April 29 the Provincial Government announced certain, gradual, easing of restrictions beginning May 4. It is important to remember that circumstances are not back to normal and the COVID19 pandemic remains an ongoing and serious health issue. MLA urges libraries to review the Provincial requirements and guidelines carefully, keep up to date on further government and public health announcements, and take necessary efforts to continue to protect the health of employees, patrons, and our communities. Please see the Province’s website to get more details specific to libraries.

Provincial Health Order Update

Posted in COVID-19

On April 1 the Province released a new bulletin which provided clarification about how ‘non-critical’ businesses could operate during the April 1 – 14 shutdown imposed by the March 30th Public Health Act Order. While the Province has indicated that public libraries are exempt (as it relates to the April 1-14 ‘shut-down’) pursuant to s 3(4) of the Order, this provides guidance about complying with the ‘spirit’ of the Order.

Province Issues New Public Health Order on March 30

Posted in COVID-19

The Province of Manitoba issued a new Public Health Order on March 30, restricting non-essential businesses from April 1 to April 14. Public Library Services Branch (PLSB) advises that, although public libraries are not specifically listed on the schedule of critical services, libraries are municipal services. Operations and delivery of municipal services are not prevented under the Public Health Act Order. Please read more here.