Nanaimo North and South Cowichan libraries open for Walkthrough service

September 8, 2020

Vancouver Island Regional Library’s (VIRL) Nanaimo North and South Cowichan branches have joined Nanaimo Harbourfront in offering Walkthrough library services to their communities. Each branch has thorough safety measures in place to limit the number of people accessing the branch at any one time, is ensuring adherence to all prescribed physical distancing measures, and is providing access to a limited browsing collection for customers to check out.

“The success of the Nanaimo Harbourfront pilot paved the way for more branches to open,” says VIRL’s Director of Library Services and Planning, Melissa Legacy. “It is so exciting to once again see customers accessing our spaces, interacting with our staff, and getting back to something that felt so normal before the onset of the pandemic.”

Part of VIRL’s phased approach to the resumption of library services, the libraries offer:

  • A walkthrough area to browse a limited collection
  • Self-checkout
  • Fee payments
  • Grab and Go bags
  • Same hours as Takeout

Customers who would like to access the limited browsing collection must have their library cards with them and use the self-check-out machines in the branch. The branches will continue to offer takeout services for those who would prefer to use this service. For the time being, the walkthrough hours will be the same as those offered for takeout:

Nanaimo North

Monday 10-4
Tuesday 1-7
Wednesday 10-4
Thursday 10-4
Friday 10-4
Saturday 10-4

South Cowichan

Tuesday 1-3 & 5-7
Wednesday 10-12 & 2-4
Thursday 10-12 & 2-4
Friday 10-12 & 2-4
Saturday 10-12 & 2-4

For everyone’s safety, customers are asked to adhere to all posted safety information and the directives of staff. During this first phase of walkthrough service, there will be no access to the public washrooms, computers, or seating area.

VIRL is also now offering inter-branch deliveries of materials to provide customers with access to the entire collection, and an expanded suite of virtual programs and services.

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


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