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Coronavirus: Okanagan Regional Library cancels programming, branches still open

If you have materials currently on loan, you can still return them while the branches remain open, providing you are not sick, the Okanagan Regional Library said.
If you have materials currently on loan, you can still return them while the branches remain open, providing you are not sick, the Okanagan Regional Library said. Okanagan Regional Library\Facebook

The Okanagan Regional Library says it will be cancelling all  programming for an indefinite period of time, due to concerns related to COVID-19.

“Much of the planned programming over the next few weeks was special children’s programming occurring over the spring break period. These programs are normally very popular, and our library spaces are generally small,” said chief executive officer Don Nettleton in a statement, posted to its website.

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The library said the programs involve the use and sharing of small technology pieces as well as crafts and special speakers and events.

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“These sorts of activities and spaces do not allow us to safely manage the social distancing risk, especially with children, and so during these unusual times, like many organizations across Canada, we have made the difficult choice to cancel these for the safety of our communities,” it said.

For now, its 31 branches across the Okanagan will remain open to the public as usual, but the library warns that could change with little notice depending on staffing or public health requirements.

If you have materials currently on loan, you can still return them while branches remain open, providing you are not sick.

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“We would ask that if you are sick, please do not return your materials until you are entirely recovered,” Nettleton said.

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The library said it will be waiving new fines for the period of March 16 -April 30.

Nettleton added that it may be moving or removing seating and equipment in its branches to provide more space between people, and we will be encouraging people to use the self-checkout machines to minimize contact with staff and others.

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Should the library have to fully close, staff say they will be closing all book returns and would ask that you keep your material until libraries reopen.

You can still get ORL services online at ORL.BC.CA

The full statement can be read here.

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