Oak Bay library could see 12-week closure due to asbestos

Oak Bay library could see 12-week closure due to asbestos
The Oak Bay library branch at 1442 Monterey Ave.

Oak Bay’s library could be closed for around three months as crews investigate asbestos found inside the building, the district announced Friday.

The District of Oak Bay says it is further investigating and undertaking an abatement of asbestos-containing materials in the library, meaning the already shuttered facility could be “closed for up to 12 weeks,” states a news release.

“The district’s top priority is ensuring the safety of staff and the community. The district is awaiting results from the additional testing undertaken this week and will provide an update when the test results are received,” officials said.

The library is located at the Monterey Recreation Centre on Monterey Avenue.

The facility operates as part of the Greater Victoria Public Library (GVPL) system, and the district says it’s working with GVPL staff to deliver library services at an alternative location in Oak Bay.

“Once an alternative location is confirmed, details will be announced. GVPL is committed to minimizing the disruption of this temporary closure for patrons,” according to the district in its release.

The district first announced the closure last Friday, Jan. 27, when it said the library would reopen on Feb. 6.

At the time, it also noted, “All other adjacent areas of the facility, including the Oak Bay Volunteer Services Society and the Hampshire Apartments are not impacted and services at Monterey Recreation Centre remain unaffected.”

One Twitter user expressed their disappointment, saying they were “sad to hear” the library’s planned reopening date was shelved. “Oak Bay library is one of my favourite places in the city,” they wrote.

The district says amid the closure, items can be returned to any other GVPL location, and plans are underway to install a temporary drop box to return library material at the Monterey Centre next week. 

“Patrons will not incur late fees for library items previously returned at the Oak Bay Branch,” the district explained. “Library items on hold at the Oak Bay Branch will not expire Feb. 6; the expiry date for items on hold will be extended to the end of February.”

People requiring assistance can call the GVPL customer service line, open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at 250-940-4875.

The district says further updates will be posted online here.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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