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Nanoose Bay library bounces back from COVID struggles with surprise funding source

Recycling of bottles, cans helps volunteers keep facility afloat
Nanoose Bay’s library, pictured in 2020. (Michael Briones photo)

After struggling to stay afloat financially due to the pressures of COVID, the Nanoose Library is making a swift comeback through community engagement and one more surprising measure.

President of the Friends of the Nanoose Bay Library Centre Society, Victoria Kirk, credits the simple act of recycling as the saving grace.

“Our main source of income came through our hall, which people rented for a variety of different events like yoga and quilting classes,” said Kir. “When COVID shut everything down, we knew we needed to find a way or else we wouldn’t last. When the word was put out there, more and more people eventually brought their wine bottles, beer cans and other recyclables. It wasn’t a pretty job by any means but it was necessary.”

To the surprise of some residents, the money from recycling bottles and cans was the key to keeping the library doors open.

In fact, according to Kirk, the funding that came via recycling brings in more than any other way, including rental of the hall.

Even though the library made it out of the lockdown period, restrictions have eased and mask mandates were lifted, recycling is still a net positive that goes to support the private institution and Kirk has no intention of stopping the initiative.

“We’re a privately run library so we don’t get any funding from the government aside from relief grants due to COVID, so we always need to make sure we have ways to keep everything running,” she said. “We’re a team of 50 volunteers who just enjoy doing it, so we’re happy we can continue serving the community.”

The library is now open from Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information, call 250-468-9977.

READ MORE: Nanoose Bay residents unhappy with escalation in property taxes

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