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Libraries slowly reopening

Three libraries in the basin – Macassar, Strand and Suider-Strand – are now offering a full range of services, while the four other libraries in the region still offer limited services.

More than 80% of the libraries in the City of Cape Town have opened their doors for browsing as part of a phased-in approach to further roll out the service offering. In addition, limited two-hour study sessions as well as access to the internet via the SmartCape system are provided on a first-come, first-served basis at a number of libraries.

The three local libraries are now open for drop-offs and collection, browsing, study access and SmartCape access, while Gordon’s Bay and Somerset West libraries offer only the drop-and-collect service. The Lwandle (Hector Pietersen) and Sir Lowry’s Pass libraries are offering the drop and collect service, browsing and SmartCape access.

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.

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 Covid-19 symptoms and all entering will be screened on arrival. All Covid-19 protocols must be adhered to during the visit.

“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,” said Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee member for Community Services and Health.

“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 hand-washing and wearing of masks. Keeping our library environment safe is a shared responsibility.”

Libraries are open weekdays from 09:00 to 16:00 and Saturdays from 09:00 to noon. The loan period for items will be 30 days, but one renewal is permitted for an additional 30 days.

Patrons’ borrowing privileges are for 20 items per cycle, including five audio-visual items and no reservations or inter-library loans will be done at present

V Find out more about the capacity limits on each service at www.opac.gov.za.

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