Oudtshoorn, 8 September 2020 – Local library services have confirmed that all libraries in the Greater Oudtshoorn will open 21 September 2020 when all health protocols and health social distancing measures have been finalised.
The Minister for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma released alert level 2 regulations on 17 August that permit libraries to open.
Prescribed health protocols in terms of the directions prescribed to Librarians have already been put in place except for installation of transparent screens on the counters, separating contact between staff and library users. The library staff has been working behind closed doors since 24 August 2020 to ensure that the library services operate seamlessly once the libraries are open to public.
The following protocols must be adhered to by both the library staff and library users when the libraries are open on 21st September 2020:
- Library patrons have to book sessions on the computers (30 minutes per day)
- No outreach programmes will be held until further notice.
- No children under 12 years old will be allowed to take out books – parents and guardians may take out books on their behalf.
- Patrons have to put books in the boxes provided which will be put in isolation.
- A visitors’ log will be completed by every library user before entering the library, as well as screening and hand sanitizing.
- No newspapers or magazines will be read or taken out by library users.
- Library users will be allowed to take out 5 books and children 4 books for a period of two weeks.
- Library staff will work from 08:00 – 16:00 daily during the week. CJ Langenhoven library will not be open on Saturdays until further notice. The staff will pack shelves from 08:00 – 09:00, and the library will be open for the public from 10:00 – 16:00.
- Cling wrap will be used to cover the keyboards of the computers and replaced daily, but will be sanitized after every user.
- Photocopies will be done as usual, but no projects will be done in-house.
- Library users will only have 15 minutes to drop off and collect books.
- No CD’s and videos will be issued to patrons until further notice.
- Only one shift will work per week at CJ Langenhoven (the other staff will be on stand-by)
- The amount of people allowed in the library will be determined by the floor surface of each library.
The Municipality wishes to thank the public for their patience while the staff ensures that all necessary health protocols are in place to ensure the safety of both library staff and the public.
Preparations for readiness to serve the public is not as simple as it may look, the nature of the services involves touching of library material that must circulate from the library to users and back to the library.
Should the protocols that give guidance to use of library material not be followed meticulously, consequences thereof may create higher risks that could lead to the rapid spread of COVID19. The Municipality is looking forward to see library users and render the much needed service that has been on hold for the past six months.