VIRL’s Bella Coola branch first to pilot Sit Down Service

August 19, 2020

The time has come for Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) customers on the Central Coast to experience the simple pleasure of sitting down with a good book in their library. Starting this week, VIRL’s Sit Down Service is being piloted at VIRL’s Bella Coola branch.

“Since the temporary suspension of in-branch services in March, we’ve been evolving our recovery plan and bringing more and more services back to our communities,” says VIRL’s Executive Director, Rosemary Bonanno. “In a time of ongoing uncertainty, I have been so impressed by the commitment our staff have shown to our communities large and small. As library services continue to adapt in the face of COVID-19, I have full confidence in our system’s ability to remain relevant and vital to the communities we serve.”

With this new service, community members can access the branch, browse the entire collection, and then sit down to enjoy some well-earned time at the library, all in an environment that’s safe, controlled, and sanitized.

Bella Coola opens for Sit Down Service on Wednesday, August 19 with the following hours:

  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday: CLOSED
  • Wednesday: 10am-1:30pm
  • Thursday: 11am-1pm and 2-3:30pm
  • Friday: 10:30am-1pm and 2-3:30pm
  • Saturday: 10am-12:30pm and 1-4pm
  • Sunday: CLOSED

Customers can resume some familiar library experiences that have been unavailable since mid-March, including:

  • Browsing the full in-branch collection
  • Self-checkout
  • Self-serve holds
  • Fine payments (cash allowed)
  • Limited computer access
  • Printing and photocopying
  • Limited seating
  • Book return bins/slots open 24 hours where possible

To maintain the health and safety of customers and staff, the branch will not be offering in-branch programming, access to meeting and study rooms, in-person information desks, play areas, or shared toys and games. Branch staff will also ensure proper physical distancing is maintained at all times, the number of customers allowed inside at any time is limited, all touchpoints are sanitized between uses, and clear signage is provided to help everyone follow proper procedures.

This is the latest in a series of developments, which include opening all VIRL branches for Takeout Service and piloting a Walkthrough model at Nanaimo’s Harbourfront Branch. VIRL anticipates more branches launching Walkthrough and Sit Down Services in the very near future.

The latest information, including a complete list of the services being offered at all VIRL branches, is available at VIRL’s complete online event calendar is found at

Members of public can also send an email to or call 1.877.415.8475 if they have any questions or concerns.


For more information

David Carson, Director, Corporate Communications and Strategic Initiatives