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Oak Bay library to remain closed up to 12 more weeks for asbestos abatement

The District of Oak Bay on Vancouver Island is pictured: (CTV News) The District of Oak Bay on Vancouver Island is pictured: (CTV News)
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The Oak Bay Branch of the Greater Victoria Public Library will remain closed for significantly longer than initially planned.

A week after closing the library for asbestos testing, the District of Oak Bay announced Friday that it has decided to "proactively" continue the closure for "up to 12 weeks" while it works on "abatement of asbestos-containing materials" in the facility.

The district first announced the library closure on Jan. 27, after discovering "dust contaminated with asbestos" in an area of the facility.

The library was originally scheduled to reopen on Monday.

"The district’s top priority is ensuring the safety of staff and the community," reads a statement posted on the Oak Bay website Friday.

"The district is awaiting results from the additional testing undertaken this week and will provide an update when the test results are received."

Library materials on hold at the Oak Bay Branch will not expire on Feb. 6, and patrons will not incur late fees, the district said.

While the Vancouver Island Regional Library abolished late fees on Jan. 1 of this year, GVPL's website indicates that late returns to its system still incur fines. 

"The district is working with GVPL to explore options to deliver library services at an alternative location in Oak Bay," the statement reads.

"Once an alternative location is confirmed, details will be announced. GVPL is committed to minimizing the disruption of this temporary closure for patrons."

Checked-out items can be returned to any other GVPL location, and the district says there are plans to install a temporary drop box for library returns at the Monterey Recreation Centre next week. 

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