Orewa Library reopened today (May 20) together with 30 others, but it could be almost two weeks before Whangaparaoa Library opens its doors to the public.
Auckland Council head of community libraries north and west, Darryl Soljan, says the requirements to meet heightened levels of health and safety under Alert Level 2 require additional staff.
“At the same time, a significant portion of our library staff are considered vulnerable to Covid-19 and therefore are unable to return to frontline duties,” Darryl says. “A number of staff also remain redeployed as part of Auckland Council’s emergency response. This means that currently Auckland Libraries is not in a position to safely staff all 55 sites.”
Council’s decision to open certain libraries and not others was based on a number of factors including a preference for larger sites which enables more customers to be on site, proximity to another library, access to public transport and staff availability. Every Local Board has at least one library open in their area.
Most of the rest of the libraries are expected to open after Queen’s Birthday Weekend (Monday June 1).
“We appreciate it may be inconvenient for some customers for a short time, however Orewa Library is open and Whangaparaoa Library customers can pick up and return their held items there until Whangaparaoa reopens,” Darryl says. “We know that the people of Whangaparaoa highly value their library and we look forward to opening it safely for staff and customers within the next few weeks.”