Okanagan Regional Library branches open with COVID-19 safety measures

The ORL has entered Phase 3 of its pandemic reopening plan

Okanagan residents can once again browse and check out collections at their local library.

The Okanagan Regional Library (ORL) has reopened most of its branches for browse and borrow service, having followed recommendations from the public health authority and WorksafeBC. People can enter an open ORL branch to browse the library’s collection and self-checkout books, DVDs and other materials.

Assessments have been completed by each library to help minimize risks associated with COVID-19. All libraries have occupancy limits posted at the library entrance, and books must be returned at external return areas, at which point they will be quarantined for 72 hours.

Signage has been posted to advise of safety protocols, public computers have been moved to ensure physical distancing and acrylic barriers have been installed between desks.

Hand sanitizing stations have also been set up for patrons to use upon entering the buildings. Visitors are encouraged to wear a mask while at the library.

READ MORE: Kelowna COVID-19 reporting strategy shifted due to ‘broad community transmission’

Just two ORL locations remain closed for the time being: the branch at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and the Westside Learning Lab.

The library has been running a curbside delivery service since June 2 to maintain access to library resources after branches were closed on March 17 due to the coronavirus. Over the first two weeks of the service the ORL checked in more than 75,000 physical items and loaned nearly 80,000 new ones.

During the browse and borrow stage, meeting rooms, meeting spaces, study rooms, public seating, and other gathering areas in the library will be closed. Visitors are encouraged to select materials quickly and use self-checkouts if possible.

Online programming including the now virtual children’s summer reading club will continue.

Visit www.orl.bc.ca for details on virtual programming and other online services.

READ MORE: Lavington child care centre expected to open in December


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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