City of Newcastle libraries at Mayfield and New Lambton will reopen in July following the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions.
Mayfield and New Lambton branches are scheduled to welcome members and visitors back on site from July 1 and 6 respectively. Operating hours will also be extended at the Newcastle and Wallsend branches.
The staged reopening of libraries has been designed to comply with current capacity limits and prioritise the health and safety of staff and the community through a COVID-safe operating model.
The reopening of the City’s remaining libraries (Adamstown, Beresfield, Hamilton and Stockton) is currently being considered in terms of their ability to safely operate given the continuing COVID-19 restrictions. Lambton Library is currently undergoing a refresh and will reopen once works are completed.
“The community has responded positively to the reopening of our City and Wallsend branches and we appreciate people’s patience as our team works through our COVID-19 safe plan to reopen additional sites,” Manager Libraries and Learning Suzie Gately said.
“We are taking considered measures to ensure we meet Public Health Order requirements, which includes changes to our service delivery and preparing our spaces with additional safeguards.
“The next stage of service resumption will see operating hours extended and two additional branches reopened, allowing us to offer on-site access to the public across a wider service area including our Local History service at the City branch.
“We are also expanding our ‘Library Express’ model to include access to study spaces and technology, and increasing visitation time to one hour from the current limit of 30 minutes.
“We will continue to offer our home library service for the most vulnerable and marginalised in our community along with continuing the Call and Collect service to all members who may not want to come in and browse, and that will help maximise the turnover of members at each site.
“While we are looking forward to welcoming our members back into our various branches, we also expect that many will continue to make the most of our expanded online library services, which offer a convenient and contactless means of accessing a wide range of e-books, audio titles, digital magazines and newspapers, as well as music and movie-streaming platforms.”
More than 6,000 members have visited the Newcastle and Wallsend libraries since they were reopened on 15 June.
Enhanced hygiene and cleaning procedures have been put in place at all library service points, including 24-hour quarantining of all books returned via the external chutes.
For full details of the revised library opening times, visit www.newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Library/Home.