Library Proposes Reopening Schedule

The New Westminster Public Library will be continuing the gradual reintroduction of services throughout the remainder of 2020. This will be guided first and foremost with the safety of staff and residents as a top priority. The gradual reintroduction of services are specifically being guided by New Westminster City Council and Public Library Board priorities, while also informed by BC’s Restart Plan, WorkSafe BC Regulations, and with consideration for the regional Public Library sector as a whole.

In May the library was successfully able to expand Wi-Fi access to its outdoor plaza, launch its Library Takeout service and continue work to move a number of programs online. The library is now concentrating on the restart of general circulation activity with the opening of the book return at the Uptown Main Branch in early June. The regular holds service will then be reactivated shortly after, which will also be managed using the appointment-based Library Takeout service.

As materials are returned customers will notice their accounts will not be updated for up to a week, until those materials come out of a mandatory 72-hour quarantine. The library will continue to waive any and all fines related to overdue materials for the foreseeable future as a result.

Library staff continue to return from a number of COVID-19 related assignments throughout the City, and are acquainting themselves with the systems and procedures necessary to safely handle and move various types of material that will once again be circulating. Staff are also working to develop procedures that will allow customers to return to the library for in-person services, with library hours initially taking place Tuesday to Saturday, and expanding thereafter.

Restarting services at Queensborough will be dependent on the reopening of the Queensborough Community Centre, something Parks and Recreation staff are working hard to consider in line with their own safety requirements and directives.

While in-person programs and access to meeting rooms will remain suspended for the foreseeable future at both branches, the following is a general outline of proposed service re-introductions planned to take place throughout the remainder of the year.

June – July

  • Book return at the Main Branch opens June 9
  • Summer Reading Club 2020 launched June 16
  • Appointment-based holds service reactivated via Library takeout June 16
  • Online technology demos and coaching launch June 16
  • Plexiglass and other protective safety measures installed
  • Online programs for children and teens continue
  • Library Takeout service continues

August – September

  • Technology Device loans reactivated (chromebooks, ereaders etc.)
  • Appointment-based access to the Main Branch introduced (ex. children’s picture book room, information services, study space, and internet computers)
  • Online adult, teen and children’s programming continue
  • Library Takeout service continues

Fall, 2020

  • Access opened to both the Main and Queensborough branches
  • Online  programs continue to expand
  • Library Takeout service continues

It’s our sincere hope that we can increasingly welcome customers back into the various spaces and services at the library as the year unfolds. This of course will be dependent on the status of COVID-19 through time, staff availability and our ability to resource the planned reintroduction of services through time.

Questions can be forwarded to us via our email address or by phone, Tuesday to Saturday 604-527-4666.