The Okanagan Regional Library is making changes to its operations in light of growing coronavirus concerns.
It is also urging its users that may be feeling unwell to hold on to their borrowed materials until they are fully recovered. The ORL will be waiving new fines between March 16-April 30.
“Our primary concern is the health and safety of our customers and our staff and those vulnerable in our community,” the Okanagan Regional Library said in a statement.
“While the current risk assessment is still low for the B.C. interior and our communities, we know that it could increase at any time. We have previously cancelled all large programs for 250 or more people to ‘help flatten the curve’ through social distancing as directed by our provincial health officer.”
On Monday, Mar. 16, the library’s leadership team made the decision to cancel all other programs for an indefinite period of time. Much of the planned programming over the next few weeks was special children’s programming occurring over the spring break period.
Many programs involve the use and sharing of small technology pieces as well as crafts and special speakers and events.
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.
For now, all branches will be open to the public as usual, but could be subject to closure with little notice depending upon staffing or public health requirements.
Should the library have to fully close, the ORL will be closing all book returns and ask members to keep their borrowed materials until the library re-opens. The library also reminds the public to be vigilant with hand washing and to maintain safe distances.
To this effect, where possible, the library may be moving or removing seating and equipment in our branches to provide more space between people, and will be encouraging people to use the self-checkout machines to minimize contact with staff and others.