Last edit July 9, 2020 | Subject to change
Our Frequently Asked Questions below are divided into four sections:
Library services will gradually and carefully be restored, starting June 30.
View a chart of Branches, Hours and Services
If you’d like to speak with a GVPL staff person for help using digital collections and other resources, or you have a question about your account, the best way to get help is to contact us in one of these three ways:
No. Starting June 30, you can come inside select branches to pick up holds, browse the limited collection of materials, check out library materials and upgrade online library cards. As we reintroduce more services as part of our phased reopening plan, details will be available on our website.
With new safety protocols in place, coming to the library during COVID-19 will be a new experience. In order to practice safe physical distancing, keep our common and high-touch areas clean, and have adequate space for holds pick-up, we need to limit access inside the branches and adjust the flow of traffic.
When you arrive at the branch, you will line up outside by the main entrance and enter the library when a staff member indicates it’s your turn. Follow the signs and markers outside the library and be prepared to wait depending on the line. Occupancy limits are in place and vary from branch to branch (e.g. three people at a time at Central Branch).
Inside the library, the holds pick-up area and browsing collection you can visit is located inside the main entrance. There is no access to the library beyond this small area. Your time inside the library will be quick, approximately 10 minutes.
For items that were due during the closure period, March 17 to June 29: These items have had their due dates extended to August 31, 2020. Your library account has been updated with the new due date.
Regular fines will resume on new items borrowed starting June 30, as well as on items that were overdue before March 2020.
We appreciate you taking good care of library material during the closure. If you need help returning items, please contact us; we’re here to help.
- Items returned before our library closed on March 16
Some items that were returned before we closed have not yet been checked in. We are working on these in the coming weeks.
- Items returned on June 30 and after
When items are returned, they are quarantined for 72 hours before being checked back into our system. This means items will remain on your account longer than usual. No fines will be applied during this period.
Sets, kits and easels won’t fit through our drop boxes. Please bring these items to a service point inside an open branch.
Yes, the public Wi-Fi is on and accessible outside all the branches.
Please note: The library Wi-Fi is a public network and is never secured. You will be asked to accept the risk when using GVPL’s Wi-Fi to access the Internet. If you choose to access the Wi-Fi outside the library, please maintain physical distancing.
Kids 12 and under can join this year’s BC Summer Reading Club online or in person.
Sign up for BC SRC online, and start tracking your daily reading. Earn virtual badges, then visit a GVPL branch at the end of the summer and receive a BC SRC medal or a brand-new book for you to keep.
Starting July 6, visit the Grab and Go table located outside select GVPL branches and pick up a BC SRC starter kit, including a reading record, stickers, bookmark, activity cards and a temporary tattoo. Check branch hours before you visit.
Or, you can print off a reading record or get creative and make your own.
At the end of the summer, visit a GVPL branch and receive a BC SRC medal or a brand-new book for you to keep.
We have held these items for you; you will not lose your place in the queue.
- You can keep your preferred pick-up branch as it is in your account and wait until that branch reopens to get your hold. You’ll receive a notification when the item is ready for you to pick up.
- Starting June 30, you can contact us to change your pick-up location, and we will transfer your items to one of our open branches.
- If you no longer want your items, please contact us, and we will cancel your holds.
Here’s what we recommend:
- If your pick-up branch is Central, simply wait to be notified that your hold is ready to be picked up. If you prefer to pick up your item at another branch once it reopens, please contact us.
- If your pick-up branch is one of Juan de Fuca, Saanich Centennial or Central Saanich, we recommend leaving your items there for faster service. If you’d like to transfer your hold to Central, please contact us.
- If your pick-up branch is any other branch—Oak Bay, Bruce Hutchison, sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay, Nellie McClung, Emily Carr, Goudy, Langford Heritage or Esquimalt—please contact us if you want to move your item to another branch. We appreciate your patience while items are moved from branch to branch.
If you need staff to make other changes, please contact us starting June 30.
If the holds on your account showed “pending” or “in transit” at the time of the library closure on March 16, we have suspended the holds so you would not lose your place in the queue. We will unsuspend your holds when your preferred pick-up branch reopens.
- You can keep your holds pick-up branch as it is and wait until the branch reopens. You will receive a notification when your item is ready to be picked up.
- You can change the pick-up location of your suspended holds in your library account.
- Please cancel any holds that you no longer want.
Here’s what we recommend:
- If your pick-up branch is Central, “pending” and “in transit” holds are unsuspended. Please watch for your hold pick-up notification. You’ll have five days to pick them up.
- If your pick-up branch is one of Juan de Fuca, Saanich Centennial or Central Saanich, we recommend leaving your “pending” or “in transit” holds there for faster service, unless it is now more convenient for you to pick up holds at another branch. You can change your holds pick-up location in your library account.
- If your pick-up branch is any other branch—Oak Bay, Bruce Hutchison, sxʷeŋxʷəŋ təŋəxʷ James Bay, Nellie McClung, Emily Carr, Goudy, Langford Heritage or Esquimalt—you are welcome to change your pick-up location to an open branch and unsuspend your hold any time through your library account.
You do not need to schedule a pick-up time. Once you have been notified you have holds ready for pick-up, you can come to the branch during open hours.
With new safety protocols in place, coming to the library will be a new experience. In order to practice safe physical distancing, keep our common and high-touch areas clean, and have adequate space for holds pick-up, we need to limit access inside the branches and adjust the flow of traffic.
When you arrive at the branch, you will line up outside by the main entrance and enter the library one at a time. Follow the signs and markers outside the library and be prepared to wait depending on the line up.
You will have five business days to retrieve your holds once you’ve been notified by email or phone. If you need assistance, please contact us; we’re here to help.
We suspended all “pending” and “in transit” holds during the library closure to maintain your place in the queue. Holds will be filled in order when your pick-up branch is reopened.
We suspended items on hold that were “pending” and “in transit” to maintain your place in the queue during the library closure. We have now unsuspended those holds because your preferred pick-up branch is reopening with partial services soon. You’ll receive a notification when the items are ready for you to pick up.
If you suspended your own holds, you should now unsuspend them yourself if you wish for them to become available soon. You’ll receive a notification when the items are ready for you to pick up.
We will continue to suspend all “pending” and “in transit” holds for branches that are closed. We will unsuspend the holds on those items shortly before the branch reopens for limited services to maintain your place in the queue. Holds will be filled in order when your pick-up branch is reopened.
If you can’t go to the library to pick up your hold, you have a few options:
- You can suspend your hold through your library account. This will keep your place in the queue until you can make it to the library. (Note: You can suspend holds if they are “in transit” or “pending.” If they are already ready for pick up, please contact us.)
- You can have a friend pick up your items for you. Please give your library card to your friend or family member so that we know you have given them permission to pick-up your hold items.
Our virtual branch has been open since our system closed on March 16, offering ebooks, e-audiobooks, streaming movies and music, and online tutorials to learn new skills.
Starting June 30, we’re reopening our physical branches in phases as part of a gradual and safe restoration of service. Holds pick-up, returns and a limited browsing collection is being introduced, following WorkSafe BC guidelines. The Central Branch is opening first followed by six more branches in July and August. The remaining branches are being assessed for viable service options.
We are gradually and carefully reopening our branches.
At this point, you can do the following at our open branches:
- check out your holds that are ready for pick-up
- browse and borrow from a limited collection of popular materials
- upgrade an online library card.
Yes. Please bring your personal identification showing legal name and current address to validate your library card. See more information here.
You have a few options:
- Search for items using our catalogue and place a hold on items you want to borrow. You will be added to the holds queue. When an item becomes available for you to pick up, we’ll contact you by email or phone.
- Branches that are open have a limited collection of material that you can browse and borrow on the spot.
- Browse GVPL book recommendations on our Book Love blog and place a hold.
All items in our collections are available to borrow except our Culture and Recreation passes, which are on hiatus. If you need help finding material to borrow, please contact us; we’re here to help.
Starting June 30, you can borrow library material for the regular borrowing period. Fines for overdue material will apply to new items borrowed. You can learn more about borrowing times and fines here.
We will be quarantining all materials returned to the library for 72 hours. Additionally, staff are following new WorkSafe BC protocols with increased hand washing and cleaning of high touch areas. You are welcome to quarantine your library material when you bring it home.
GVPL is committed to providing a healthy and safe space for staff and patrons. New procedures that align with WorkSafe BC, the Ministry of Health and other governing bodies are in place for staff and patrons to follow. Some new safety measures include:
- Frequent handwashing
- Using personal protective equipment as required
- Physical distancing
- Quarantining materials returned to the library for 72 hours
- Appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch and common areas
- New signage, floor markings and visual cues to provide clear direction.
At this time, masks are not required when using the limited library services now available. You can wear one if you wish.