Important updates for our valued patrons about COVID-19.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Victoria Public Library is closed until further notice to protect the health and safety of staff and the community. All 12 branches are closed as of 6:00 pm, March 16, 2020.
- Do not return library items during the system closure. Drop boxes will be closed.
- All due dates will be extended until Tuesday, April 28.
- Fines and fees will not accumulate during the system closure.
Library branches close to protect health and safety during COVID-19 pandemic
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Victoria Public Library is closing to protect the health and safety of staff and the community. All 12 branches of the Greater Victoria Public Library will be closed until further notice as of 6:00 pm, March 16, 2020.
“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,” said Maureen Sawa, CEO.
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 about library services will be shared on gvpl.ca and on Facebook and Twitter.
“Many library resources are available remotely through our virtual branch,” Sawa said, noting GVPL offers more than 25 platforms to read, watch, listen and learn online from home or anywhere with an Internet connection.
GVPL’s digital resources are available all day, every day, and are free with a library card. Residents can sign up for a GVPL library card online in two minutes and begin accessing digital resources immediately.
Digital resources always available
GVPL offers a wide variety of 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. Visit gvpl.ca/digital.
Get a library card at home (or anywhere with Internet access)
In two minutes or less, residents in our service area can start to borrow, watch, listen and learn. Sign up at gvpl.ca.
Jessica Woollard, Communications Officer, Greater Victoria Public Library
Mobile: 778-679-7228 Email: [email protected]
Impacts on library service delivery in Greater Victoria, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic
Victoria, BC: To support efforts to limit and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Greater Victoria Public Library will be cancelling all scheduled library programs and events effective Tuesday, March 17. Visiting Library Services will also be cancelled until further notice.
“After careful consideration and recommendations from my leadership team, I have made the difficult decision to cancel all programs, outreach services and events at all library branches,” said Maureen Sawa, CEO. “We must do what we can to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 exposure to the community and staff. We are monitoring the situation closely and will provide regular updates as the situation evolves.”
The cancellation includes all March Break programming and events GVPL offers in partnership with external organizations. “We take this step with the understanding that hundreds of families had plans to attend our March Break programs, and our staff worked hard to plan exceptional and creative learning opportunities,” said Sawa. “We regret the disappointment our program partners will experience as a result of this news, but feel this precautionary step is necessary to protect the health and safety of our library patrons, staff and the broader community.”
The Friends of the Library have temporarily closed their Friendshop, located at the Central Branch, and cancelled their April book sale event.
Here are further updates regarding library service delivery. Please note that access to facilities and services are subject to change on short notice, given the evolving pandemic and advice of the provincial health officer.
Library service hours
All 12 locations of the Greater Victoria Public Library remain open at this time, with no change to service hours. Signs posted at the entrance of all library locations require visitors to determine if they, or a member of their household, are exhibiting or experiencing illness. If they are unwell, they should not enter the library and avoid public contact with other community members.
Library facilities are cleaned frequently, and additional cleaning protocols are in place, focusing on washrooms and high-touch surfaces in public and staff areas. Ample supplies of hand soap and hand sanitizer are available for the public and staff to use, adjacent to posters advising everyone to wash hands repeatedly to avoid transfer of the virus.
In response to many questions we have received, we can confirm it is not possible to individually sanitize library materials. Please wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap when visiting any public space.
Digital resources always available
GVPL offers a wide variety of digital resources to download or stream, including e-books, 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. Visit gvpl.ca
Getting a library card while at home (or anywhere, with Internet access)
GVPL has offered an online application for library cards since 2017. In two minutes or less, residents in our service area can start to borrow, watch, listen and learn. Start here.
For daily updates, please visit gvpl.ca
Director, Library Services, Planning and Engagement
Cell 250 413 0370
The World Health Organization has declared a pandemic of COVID-19. In British Columbia, our chief medical officer and a dedicated team of health professionals are monitoring the situation and keeping citizens apprised of current risks of transmission, precautions and procedures to seek medical support.
It remains essential for everyone to avoid contact with others in the community if they are feeling unwell. Diligent hand washing remains the best proactive measure to avoid infection. At present, our library services and programs are operating as scheduled. GVPL operating procedures will adjust according to current conditions and the guidance we receive from provincial health authorities.