The Greater Victoria Public Library is closing all 12 of its branches until further notice to protect the safety of staff and the community during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Greater Victoria Public Library is closing all 12 of its branches at 6 p.m. Monday. Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) is closing all branches to the public as of 8 p.m. tonight
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Monday that gatherings of 50 or more people are banned. People are also urged to stay home as much as they can.
“In light of the recommendations of the BC Ministry of Health, Health Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we have decided to close the library to help protect the community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Maureen Sawa, CEO of Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL), said in a statement.
GVPL said a short-term plan is being put in place so staff won’t go without pay during the closure.
According to the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL), all loans for items will be extended for six weeks from March 17 to April 28. People are asked not to return library items through branch book drops during the closure.
All loan periods for items will be extended six weeks from Tuesday, March 17 to Tuesday, April 28. GVPL asks the public to not return library items through branch book drops during the library system closure.
Updates library services will be shared on gvpl.ca.
“Many library resources are available remotely through our virtual branch,” Sawa said.
GVPL’s digital resources are free with a library card. Greater Victoria residents can sign up for a GVPL library card online. The online card is usually only available for 30 days but has been extended to 60 days.
Anyone who has a card expiring in March or April has had the expiry date extended to May 1.
GVPL offers a different digital resources to download or stream, including ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, newspapers and magazines. There are also learning platforms such as Lynda.com and Mango Languages with video and audio tutorials. These resources are free to use with a GVPL library card and pin number. For more, visit the GVPL site.