The Parti québécois is proposing to reopen the libraries in a form “order for take-out” at the time where the sales of books online is booming.
The risk of increasing the spread with such a measure is not more high that by keeping the restaurants open under the same mode of operation, argues the spokesperson of the party in terms of culture, Méganne Perry Melançon.
“If we are to ensure the observance of the sanitary rules and distancing, we do not have to fear the spread of the virus. Other shops do. It’s fast, it works well, and it can be deployed now, ” believes the member of parliament for Gaspé.
Over the next few months, readers will be numerous in Quebec and the independent booksellers could take advantage of such a measure, she adds.
“The formula that we propose has many advantages : not only the readers will have direct access to the products that they want, but the booksellers will also benefit, including avoiding the costs of delivery. For a small independent business, this can change the game, ” says Méganne Perry Mélançon in a statement released Thursday.
Many european countries have demonstrated that it was possible to keep open the booksellers without increasing the risk of contamination, she said. In particular in Berlin, Germany, where the booksellers have remained open during the confinement since they were considered essential.
This proposal of the Parti québécois comes to the occasion of the world Day of book and copyright, a celebration declared by UNESCO in 1995.
If the store sales are at a standstill in the booksellers independent Quebec since the beginning of the containment measures, it’s an entirely different scenario on the internet.
The transactional site, the booksellers.ca (more than 100 independent bookstores in Quebec, Maritimes and Ontario) reported an increase of 1200 % of online orders since the 11 march.
Its customers also appear to be particularly likely to encourage the literature here as evidenced by the increase of 577% of sales of books by quebec publishers on leslibraires.ca from 11 march to 22 April 2020 (compared to the same dates in 2019).