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Reopening FAQs2020-09-16T12:47:52+00:00

REOPENING FAQs

Last edit August 11, 2020  |  Subject to change

Our Frequently Asked Questions below are divided into four sections:

  1. About the library
  2. Returning borrowed items
  3. Picking up holds
  4. Browsing and borrowing
  5. Safety and the library

Section 1: About the library

Maintaining safe spaces for staff and patrons while following new WorkSafe BC protocol means we have changed how we offer service. Additional time is needed outside open hours to process quarantined material and the thousands of daily items flowing in, out and between branches every day. For now, the library is open from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday to Saturday.

If you need some extra help or you’re not able to come to the library, here’s what we suggest:

  • Our virtual branch is always open, offering ebooks, e-audiobooks, magazines, streaming movies and music, and online tutorials like Lynda.com to learn new skills. We have reading material in many languages and for all listening and reading levels. Visit GVPL’s Niche Academy for online tutorials for all of our digital services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • You can contact us if you need extra time to pick up your holds; during these exceptional times, extensions may be possible. Send us a comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Some branch locations may be more convenient for you than others. With seven locations open and all 12 locations open by October 9, it might be more convenient for you to visit a different branch during the limited opening hours. Each branch has a browsing collection with books and other materials  for all ages. View information about Branches & Hours here.
  • Print disabled patrons have access to our virtual branch and also CELA and NNELS, two services that provide reading material specifically for people with print disabilities. CELA can help you set up automatic book streaming to a device with the Dolphin Easy Reader app through a Wi-Fi connection.  If you need help with material for print disabled patrons, please send us your question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm); we’re here to help.
Library services were gradually and carefully restored beginning June 30. Eight branches currently offer limited services, including the opportunity to pick up holds and the remaining four branches will be opening between September 18 and October 11.

View information about Branches & Hours here.

Our virtual branch is always open, offering ebooks, e-audiobooks, streaming movies and music, and online tutorials to learn new skills. Visit GVPL’s Niche Academy for online tutorials for all of our digital services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

No. You can come inside 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.

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:

  • Send us a comment or question through our webform
  • Phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Starting June 30: Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Message us on social media: Facebook or Twitter
  •  Visit GVPL’s Niche Academy  for online tutorials for all of our digital services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

With new safety protocols in place, coming to the library during COVID-19 is 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 its 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. occupancy currently ranges from 5 to 16 patrons depending on the branch).

Inside the library, you can visit a small holds pick-up area and browsing collection. We appreciate you taking only the time you need inside the branch to allow other patrons their opportunity to come inside.

Kids 12 and under can join this year’s BC Summer Reading Club online or in person.

ONLINE
Sign up for BC SRC online until September 30, 2020, and start tracking your daily reading. Earn virtual badges, then visit a GVPL branch until the end of the calendar year or while supplies last and receive a BC SRC medal or a brand-new book for you to keep.

IN PERSON
Visit GVPL branches during opening hours until September 30, 2020 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 calendar year, visit a GVPL branch and receive a BC SRC medal and a brand-new book for you to keep, while supplies last.

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.

Library fines over $3.00 can be paid online through your library account. We are not accepting payment of fines in person at this time.

Contact us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm) if you have any questions.

Section 2: Returning borrowed items

Due dates for library items that had an original due date between March 17 – June 29 were extended to October 13. All 12 branch locations will be open by then making it easier to return your items. Library return boxes are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at all re-opened branches.

Thank you for taking good care of these items.

Library drop boxes are now open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at open branch locations.

View information about branches and hours, here.

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 (up to 7 to 10 days).

You may see fines temporarily on your account but these will disappear when material is checked in after the quarantine. No fines will be applied during the quarantine period.

It may take 7 to 10 days for an item to be removed from your account once it has been returned to the library. During this time, fines may calculate, but they will be removed once the item is checked in. We keep track of the date you returned your item, so you will not incur fines.
Please note: The delay in processing returns is due to new safety protocols and the quarantining of returned items.

Items returned through one of our automated return machines may instantly be removed from your account unless the machine encountered a problem. Items must be returned one by one. If items were returned in bundles, they will remain on your account until they are checked in manually, which may take up to a week (see above).

For items that were due during the closure period, March 17 to June 29: These items have had their due dates extended to October 13, 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 limited service hours. If you need help returning items, please send us your comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm); we’re here to help.

Sets, kits and easels won’t fit through our drop boxes. Please bring these items to a service point inside an open branch.

Section 3: Picking up holds

If your pick-up branch is Esquimalt, Langford Heritage, Emily Carr or Goudy— your holds will be automatically unsuspended prior to reopening. Your online account may show items ready for you while we prepare for reopening. You will be notified by email, phone or text when your items are ready for pick up.

If you can’t get to the library within the five business days allotted to your hold pick up, you have a few options:

  • You can contact us if you need assistance; during these exceptional times, extensions may be possible, we’re here to help. Send us a comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm).
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

You do not need to schedule a pick-up time. Once you have been notified by email, text or phone that 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 can contact us if you need extra time to pick up your holds; during these exceptional times, extensions may be possible.  Send us a comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm).

You will have five business days to retrieve your holds once you’ve been notified by email, text or phone. You can contact us if you need extra time to pick up your holds; during these exceptional times, extensions may be possible.  Send us a comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm).

Yes. If you want to change the pick-up location of a hold that’s “in transit” or “pending,” you can do so in your library account. If a hold is marked “ready for pick-up,” and you’d like to change the location, please send us a comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm).

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
  • pick up Summer Reading Club starter kits and prizes while supplies last
  • upgrade an online library card.

View information about Branches & Hours here.

Yes. Please bring your personal identification showing legal name and current address to validate your library card. See more information here.

 

Section 4: Browsing and borrowing

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 collection are available to borrow except our Culture and Recreation passes and physical magazines. If you need help finding material to borrow, please send us a your question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm); we’re here to help.

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.

You can access your library account anytime to check due dates, manage holds and renew items. If you need help with due dates and fines, please send us a comment or question through our webform or phone us during open hours at 250-940-4875 (Monday to Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm).

Section 5: Safety and the library

We quarantine 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.

Questions about the library that are not answered above?

Please ask us – we’re here to help. 

CONTACT US

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

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