Masset resident Kyla Mitchell and her two children, Isaac (left) and Wren Binnema, are pictured collecting items from the new Vancouver Island Regional Library “takeout service,” which was launched on Friday, June 5, 2020. Mitchell told the Observer she was excited to collect the items, which she had requested from the Masset branch months ago, before it was closed due to COVID-19. (Etchi Virl/Facebook photo)

Haida Gwaii libraries launch new ‘takeout’ curbside pickup service

As of June 5, cardholders can once again access physical copies of books, DVDs and more

Haida Gwaii libraries have launched a new curbside pickup option for cardholders eager to access physical copies of books, DVDs and more.

On June 5, the Vancouver Island Regional Library (VIRL) branches in Queen Charlotte and Masset publicized the new “takeout service,” along with terms of use and operating hours.

Cardholders can now use the VIRL online catalogue to place holds on items at the branches — up to five items per checkout. When the items are available, branch staff will collect them and contact the cardholder to make an appointment during specified hours. At the time of the appointment, staff then place the items at a pick-up site, such as a a book cart, outside the branch.

Signage will be in place at the branches to ensure cardholders maintain a safe physical distance when collecting their items, all surfaces will be thoroughly disinfected after each interaction and all returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours before going back into circulation.

VIRL library manager Patrick Siebold told the Observer appointments for the Queen Charlotte branch booked up “in a matter of an hour or two” on Friday.

“People are really excited to start using library materials again,” he said.

ALSO READ: Haida Gwaii libraries launch new online sign-up service, 24/7 WiFi

For cardholders who would prefer to call the branch than use the online catalogue, Siebold said they are welcome to do so.

“Our staff can help people pick out items,” he said, adding that while cardholders are not yet allowed inside branch buildings, staff have returned to work. “It’s a great service because staff can actually walk to the stacks.”

For now, items will only be available in the branch where they are currently housed. A release from VIRL said a plan to resume Books by Mail was still in the works.

“Essentially the branch is going to remain closed to the public,” Siebold said.

However, he added the takeout service is part of a larger renewal and recovery plan that VIRL is working on, in hopes of reopening to the public “in the coming weeks or months.”

Takeout services at the Queen Charlotte branch are Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Thursdays from 2 p.m. 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Takeout services at the Masset branch are Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Library materials may be returned during takeout service hours only.

ALSO READ: Gather Food ‘Be My Quarantine’ dinner series puts artistic twist on takeout bags

Do you have something to add to this story or something else we should report on? Email:
karissa.gall@blackpress.ca.


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