GVPL Landing Page2020-05-29T16:12:49+00:00

Service Update: May 29, 2020

Our priority during the pandemic is to protect the health and safety of our staff and patrons. As we indicated earlier this month, holds pickup will be our first available service. We will introduce this service gradually and safely, following WorkSafe BC guidelines. Here is how we will do it:

Phase 1: Patrons will be able to place a hold on any item in the GVPL catalogue and pick it up at the Central Branch in Victoria. There will also be a limited collection of material that patrons can borrow on the spot. The Central Branch will be open Monday through Saturday, for four hours each day.

    • WHERE: Central Branch
    • Additional services available: sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay, Langford Heritage and Emily Carr branches will accept the return of library material through their automated handling machines. The Library Vending Machine at the Langford Heritage Branch will be available, filled with a selection of movies, books, and video games.
    • WHEN: Phase 1 will be operating by the end of June.

Phase 2: In the next incremental phase of our reopening plans, six additional branches will be open for the return of library material, to pick up material on hold and to browse a small popular collection  of material that patrons can borrow on the spot. These locations will be open four hours each day, Monday to Saturday.

    • WHERE: sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay, Saanich Centennial, Central Saanich, Juan de Fuca, Oak Bay and Bruce Hutchison branches
    • WHEN: July and August (three per month)

Phase 3: Assessment of the remaining branches in the system will take place during June and July to incorporate what we have learned in each phase.

    • WHERE: Goudy, Esquimalt, Nellie McClung, Langford Heritage and Emily Carr branches
    • WHEN: July and August

The start date of service at the Central Branch, and the additional services described in phase 1, will be released two weeks in advance.

A message from Maureen Sawa, CEO

If you are reading this message, you are in good company. More than a hundred thousand people in our service area have a library card. They use it to borrow books, watch movies, learn a new skill or listen to a favourite song. Since March 16, when our branch system closed, our digital branch at gvpl.ca remained open. For some, the digital branch was a familiar place; for others, ebooks, e-audiobooks, streaming movies and digital magazines remain a new experience. Digital will remain an important part of our future. But we also know that content comes in many forms. And all formats will soon be available again.

Read more.

Get a library card online

In just two minutes, you’ll have a GVPL library card and can start accessing GVPL’s virtual branch instantly. If you haven’t had a library card in a long time, signing up for a new card is the fastest way to get started. Let’s go!

Three options for streaming movies and TV

Just like Netflix, Kanopy, Hoopla and IndieFlix have movies, TV shows and documentaries for you to stream for free – all you need is a library card. Use your library card number and password to create an account, then download the app or watch through your browser.

Kanopy – NEW!
On-demand streaming service featuring movies, TV shows, documentaries
Learn more Open Kanopy
Hoopla IndieFlix
Instantly stream or download movies, TV shows, music, audiobooks and more Digital movies, cartoons, documentaries and classic TV shows
Learn more Open Hoopla Learn more Open IndieFlix

Learn from experts with Lynda.com

Learn almost anything you can imagine on Lynda.com, with courses and videos taught by professionals. Coding, software, leadership, business, marketing, reading music – Lynda.com has everything, and it’s free for you to access with your library card number and password.

Learn more Open Lynda.com

Ebooks and e-audiobooks you can download to your device

Unlimited digital books in the palm of your hand. Explore GVPL’s rich collection of ebooks and e-audiobooks available in two platforms: CloudLibrary and RBDigital. In both, you can filter your search by tiles that are available now, so you can see what is available to read instantly.

A note on devices: You can add library ebooks to most e-readers, including Fire tablets (formerly Kindle Fire). All other Kindle devices are incompatible with ebooks in Canadian libraries.

CloudLibrary RBDigital Audiobooks
Borrow thousands of ebooks and e-audiobooks for all ages Choose from more than 30,000 e-audiobooks and start listening instantly
Learn more Open CloudLibrary Learn more Open RBDigital

Uncover your family’s past

Learn the stories behind the names on your family tree. Search thousands of databases for documents and information that will help you piece together the lives of your ancestors.

Learn more Open Ancestry

Typically, AncestryLibrary is only available at library branches. Access to this resource has been temporarily expanded to library cardholders researching remotely, courtesy of ProQuest and its partner Ancestry.

Language lessons from home

Brush up on your Bengali, practice your Polish or take up something new. Take quizzes to assess your language proficiency level; work through lessons with video and audio clips; and expand your vocabulary with conversation practice. Where do you want to travel when borders reopen after COVID-19? Start working on a new language today.

Learn more Open Mango

Daily newspapers from around the world

Choose from the world’s largest selection of premium newspapers and magazines. Read Canadian and international reporting on business, tech, news, COVID-19 and more.

Learn more Open PressReader

Magazines for entertainment and education

Instantly read current issues of popular magazines on your computer or through the RBdigital app on your mobile device. Choose from more than 100 magazines covering a range of topics — news, business, science, fashion and more.

Learn more Open RBDigital

Soundtrack to comfort and joy

What music will uplift you during this difficult time? Naxos Music Library and Hoopla let you discover new music – and play the classics – to serenade you through days of self-isolation.

Naxos Music Library Hoopla
Stream more than two million tracks of classical, jazz, opera, pop and rock The latest popular music available to stream. Includes newly released movie soundtracks and Broadway shows.
Learn more Open Naxos Learn more Open Hoopla

You can see all GVPL’s digital content in one place and find resources to read, watch, listen and learn from home or wherever you’re self-isolating.

View all digital content.

You can visit the full gvpl.ca here. Please note: not all services are available during the COVID-19 closure.

During the closure of physical branches, you can still search the library catalogue.

Things you can do in the catalogue:

  • Search for and place holds on physical items for when library branches re-open
  • Search and access digital items available in the following collections:
    • CloudLibrary
    • RBDigital Audiobooks and Magazines
    • Hoopla
  • Log in to your library account and check holds, fines and due dates (Note: Due dates have been extended until further notice. Fines will not accumulate during the closure.)
  • View lists of new and recently ordered items

Local elected officials and celebrities are reading their favourite children’s picture books on camera, giving families a wonderful tradition to enjoy before bedtime and helping foster a sense of community during COVID-19 self-isolation.

City of Victoria councillor Charlayne Thornton-Joe started the storytime series, which airs live every weekday evening at 8:00 pm on her Facebook page. The videos are archived on a new YouTube channel, Eight O’Clock Storybook Reading.

Listen live to a story every weekday night at 8:00 pm

COVID-19 Service Updates

  • Do not return borrowed items to the library. All branches and drop boxes are closed.

  • Fines and fees will not accumulate during the system closure.

  • All due dates for books and magazines in print, DVDs, CDs and kits have been extended until further notice.

  • Items on hold and items awaiting pick up from March 16 onward have not expired.

  • Library card expiry dates have been extended until further notice. No action is needed at this time. If your card has already expired, sign up for a new card online.

Ask Us

We welcome your comments and questions, and we will respond as soon as possible, Monday to Friday. Thank you for your patience during this time.

Contact Us


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Peek-a-boo! Here’s a quote to brighten your day:

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Hermione Granger