Charting a path forward

May 15, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and disruptions across industries, organizations, and individuals. We have all been affected and libraries are no different. On March 16, 2020, Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) temporarily suspended all in-branch services to help combat the spread of COVID-19 — a decision that held the health and safety of VIRL staff and the public as its central guiding tenant.

On May 7, British Columbians received news from the provincial government that the province will begin a gradual release of COVID-19 related restrictions.

The government, working with public health officials, businesses and labour organizations, will begin to lift restrictions in phases, gradually allowing for more social and economic activity, while closely monitoring health information to minimize the risk to the public. Under this plan, libraries fall under Phase 2, which the government says will likely come into effect on May 19.

To prepare for increased services, VIRL formed a Renewal and Recovery Taskforce that is moving forward with plans to re-instate some services to library customers across our service area. The Taskforce is proceeding with a phased model to safely and efficiently bring services into our communities.

In the coming days, we will share more information, including timelines, locations, and what services are available. VIRL branches will not open on May 19 but we do anticipate the resumption of some services in the very near future. It is vital that we only move forward once we have everything in place to do so safely.

We are working hard to deliver safe and sustainable services for communities large small. Stay tuned for more information.