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Coronavirus: Vancouver Public Library to reopen some branches July 14

Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library
The Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, downtown Vancouver, BC. Douglas Williams/The Canadian Press

The Vancouver Public Library (VPL) is reopening its central branch and four other locations on July 14.

The VPL closed all branches to in-person borrowers in mid-March amid growing concern about COVID-19.

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“We want to thank everyone for their support and patience as we gradually reopen,” said chief librarian Christina de Castell in a media release.

“Reopening a large library system like VPL is a complex undertaking, and we are ensuring that as we begin to welcome everyone back to the library, we provide the services people need with appropriate health and safety measures.”

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Along with the central branch, the Britannia, Kitsilano, Renfrew and South Hill branches will reopen mid-month, with increased health protocols, for limited in-person services from Tuesdays to Saturdays.

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Readers will be able to pick up holds, access book collections “in short visits,” return items and schedule time to use public computers.

The VPL is also expanding takeout service to five additional branches: Champlain Heights, Dunbar, Firehall, Hastings and Kensington branches.

Takeout service will run Tuesdays to Saturdays, must be scheduled in advance, and applies only to existing holds or staff-selected “grab bags.”

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The VPL says it will begin accepting returns at all 10 locations on July 7.

However, it says it has extended all return dates to September and is waiving late fines, and as such is asking people not to rush to return items so staff has time to gear up for reopening.