Almost all VIRL branches set to offer expanded services this week

October 27, 2020


This is a big week in the resumption of services at Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL). Staff across the system have been hard at work prepping their branches to welcome customers inside, and the vast majority are slated to open this week for limited in-branch service. Reflecting the unique aspects of their branch layouts and the communities they serve, some branches will offer Walkthrough service of a limited collection, while others will open their entire collection, offer a Sit Down service, and provide public computer access.

“The openings we’re seeing this week are a direct result of the hard work, dedication, and resilience our staff have demonstrated despite the challenges the pandemic has created,” says Melissa Legacy, VIRL’s Director of Library Services and Planning. “The phased approach we’ve taken, starting with Takeout, has allowed us to safely bring more services on board, develop best practices as we go, and ensure we are responding to the needs of our communities. I would like to thank all of the branch staff for bringing us to this important milestone.”

The following branches have already opened their doors and invite community members inside:

  • Nanaimo Harbourfront
  • Nanaimo North
  • Nanaimo Wellington
  • Bowser
  • Cowichan (Duncan)
  • South Cowichan
  • Quadra Island
  • Sayward
  • Bella Coola
  • Sointula
  • Port Clements
  • Queen Charlotte City

Almost all other branches are in the process of opening and most will open this week. However, the following branches will continue to offer Takeout service only until further notice:

  • Union Bay
  • Port Renfrew
  • Woss (new branch under construction)
  • Sandspit

For everyone’s safety, customers are asked to adhere to all posted safety information and the directives of staff, including limiting the number of people allowed inside at a time and maintaining a proper physical distance. All customers are encouraged to wear masks when visiting the library.

Customers must have their library cards with them and use the self-checkout machines, when available. Branches will continue to offer Takeout services for those who would prefer to use this service. VIRL will continue to waive all late fees but asks that customers return and renew materials per due dates to ensure everyone has equal opportunity.

For information about the specific services and resources offered at VIRL branches, visit


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