A pilot project at Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Harbourfront branch, in downtown Nanaimo, saw walk-through library service. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file photo)

After Harbourfront library pilot, other Nanaimo branches due for walk-through service

Harbourfront library branch serves more than 3,100 customers in 22 days

After launching a pilot project at Vancouver Island Regional Library’s Harbourfront branch, other branches are due for walk-through service.

In the first 22 days of VIRL’s walkthrough service pilot, library staff welcomed more than 3,170 customers and helped them safely browse and check out library materials, according to a VIRL press release. Less than eight customers at a time entered the library during walk-through service hours, it said.

An average of 144 customers per day came to the library, following direction from staff and COVID-19 safety protocols, which included wearing masks and using hand sanitizer.

Customers could browse, but the branch also provided grab-and-go bags, containing books of interest to Harbourfront branch customers, based on “previous experience and librarian knowledge,” the release noted.

Staff also welcomed Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district representatives on Aug. 14, who visited the branch to learn how VIRL’s walk-through safety measures could be applied to school libraries.

More library branches are preparing for walk-through service in the coming weeks.

For updates about service in VIRL branches, visit virl.bc.ca/services/.

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