Libraries open but not for browsing

Library services will be available from Monday to Saturday.

Colin Eglin library, in Sea Point, has reopened, but bookworms will not be able to browse.

The library is among 19 in the city that will now operate a drop off and collect service.

The Tokai, Hout Bay, Brackenfell, Bellville, Fisantekraal, Crossroads, Melton Rose and Rylands libraries are among those that have reopened.

Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health, said there was a great demand for library services and the City wanted to open more once it was safe to do so.

“Unfortunately, libraries will not yet be open for patrons to browse,” he said.

“This is a learning curve for library services, and we request that communities bear with us as we negotiate this new way of working. The department is keen to open up libraries, but we are limited by the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).

“Critically, any demand for PPE that is experienced by essential services is addressed first. For this reason we will continue to open in a phased approach.

“Patrons will have to follow Covid-19 regulations, including wearing masks and practising physical distancing when dropping or collecting library materials.”

The material returned will be quarantined for 72 hours before it is available on the system.

Patrons can borrow 20 items for 30 days and can check the online library catalogue at and submit requests for material at the open libraries by email or phone.

Any registered library user can, with their membership number, access PressReader to unlock over 6000 digital resources, including the latest newspapers and magazines from around the world.

Libraries will call patrons with arrangements to collect the material requested. Patrons may also approach the library and request material without prior arrangements.

The service will be available from Monday to Saturday, with a special service for senior citizens (60 years and older) and patrons who are physically challenged from 9am to 10am, Monday to Friday.

All patrons are welcome to access the service from 10am to 4pm daily during the week, while the Saturday service provision will be from 9am, to noon.

No fines will be incurred on outstanding material during this time.

The material borrowed for 30 days can be renewed online for an additional 30 days through the library catalogue or by calling
one of the libraries that are operational.