Wednesday, May 25 2022

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The Yellowknife book cellar will close early on weeknights after incidents involving “threats of weapons and damaged property.”

Assignment to facebook On Wednesday evening, the downtown bookstore said it had no choice but to start closing at 6 p.m. on weeknights to keep staff safe.

While doors will close at 6 p.m. “for the next few weeks,” the store said staff would stay until 7 p.m. to allow for special order pick-up.

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“Staff safety is my first priority,” wrote store owner Jennifer Baerg Steyn. “As it is no longer safe for one or two members of staff to be alone in the evening, we have to close. We hope this is temporary while we develop plans for additional private security.

“At the same time, I want to acknowledge that we understand that addiction and trauma are complicated and that while resources exist, they are also tied to systems that have always been dangerous.

“I don’t want to be part of a cycle of increasing police involvement and so this is the best solution I have at the moment. I am also deeply frustrated that the actions of a handful of people have stripped the security of a space that I want to welcome for everyone, especially for the staff.

Baerg Steyn, a store employee under former owner Judith Drinnan, bought the store earlier this year.

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The Book Cellar has been in business in Yellowknife since 1979.

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