Libraries open their doors

More than 80 percent of libraries have opened their doors for browsing as part of a phased-in approach to service the community.

In addition, limited two-hour study sessions, as well as access to the internet via the SmartCape system, is being provided on a first-come, first-served basis at a number of libraries.

The City’s Library Service is gradually returning to a full service offering, with 87 of the facilities now allowing walk-ins and browsing after a week-long “dry run” to ensure all operational directives are in place, said Dr Zahid Badroodien, Mayco member for community services and health.

Staff at libraries will follow and enforce strict Covid-19 protocols, and it will remain the responsibility of every visitor to ensure their personal safety. Patrons should not visit the library if they exhibit any of the known symptoms of Covid-19, or feel unwell, he said.

“We are pleased that patrons can once again walk the aisles of their favourite library in search of a book to read, or something new to learn.

These are such treasured spaces, and it is good news to see the service come to life once more. Let’s keep the doors open by ensuring that everyone adheres to the rules of social distancing, regular handwashing and the wearing of masks. Keeping our library environment safe is a shared responsibility,” said Dr Badroodien.

Any person entering a library will be screened, and should they fail the screening test, they will not be allowed inside. All visitors are required to wear a mask, sanitise their hands and adhere to social distancing protocols.

Among the libraries offering browsing, study space, SmartCape internet access and drop-and-collect services are Strandfontein, Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre, and Westridge.

Lentegeur, Rocklands, and Weltevreden libraries are open for drop and collect only, while Tafelsig is open for drop and collect, study and SmartCape access.

The libraries are open from Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm and Saturday, 9am to noon.

The loan period is 30 days, you are allowed one renewal for an additional 30 days, you can borrow 20 items including five audio-visual items (CDs/DVDs) and no reservations or inter-library loans will be done at present.