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Byron Shire
December 1, 2021

How are the libraries going since re-opening?

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Ballina Public Library. Photo supplied.

Libraries across the Northern Rivers have now been open again for almost a week, so Echonetdaily caught up with the Richmond Tweed Regional Library to find out how things are going.

RTRL Manager Jo Carmody said, ‘We’re so excited to be able to welcome back our regular and new library users!’

Young Ballina Library user. Photo supplied.

RTRL Marketing and Communications Officer Ben Ellis said staff have noticed the community is extremely happy to be back in the library and are generally supportive of the new limitations which have been put in place.

Mr Ellis said, ‘Although many people felt the library’s temporary Click and Collect service and online programming provided ongoing access to the library, they have said that there is nothing like face-to-face contact and the opportunity to browse library shelves.’

Library staff have noticed that visitor numbers remain down compared to pre-COVID-19 lockdown.

‘This is thought to be because people are apprehensive to visit busier places,’ Mr Ellis said. ‘Many people are also aware that the school holiday period brings many visitors to the region.’

I Love My Public Library. Photo supplied.

Richmond Tweed Regional Library staff have asked that visitors respect the new safety situation by:

  • sanitising your hands when you enter the library
  • practicing good hygiene and maintaining social distancing
  • understanding that there are new limits regarding how many people can be in the library
  • using EFTPOS as your payment method, to reduce physical contact
  • staying at home if you are unwell
  • and using the loans stations where possible

All returns to the library will be quarantined for 72 hours prior to check-in to ensure the safety of library users and staff.

Ms Carmody said, ‘Unfortunately, the Mobile Library will be off the road due to its size. It’s a small space and there’s no way to guarantee the safety of the community and our staff in such confines.

‘We are determined to find a way to service our outlying communities as soon as possible.’

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Entertainment in the Byron shire for the week beginning 1 December, 2021

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