Libraries to reopen in stages

Book worms rejoice – residents will once again be able to access our region’s libraries from next Monday (May 18).

Council’s libraries’ staged reopening will start with Dudley Denny City Library and the Mobile Library (from Tuesday) opening their doors in a limited capacity.

State Government regulations will allow a maximum of 10 customers at any one time.

Numbers will be reduced further on the Mobile Library to allow for social distancing.

A 15-minute time limit will also be in place to ensure fair access to these facilities and opening hours have been reduced.

Residents are encouraged to plan their visit ahead of time by reserving items or using the Click and Collect form on the library website.

All other libraries, including Gordon White Library, will be closed to walk-ins but will be offering the “Click and Collect” service from Monday, May 18.

Mayor Greg Williamson said reopening the libraries was a bit of a juggling act due to pre-planned maintenance work and the social distancing requirements.

“We moved forward a lot of maintenance projects across our library branches to make the most of the closure,” Cr Williamson said.

“This includes a pre-planned, much-needed facelift for Gordon White Library, which hasn’t had one since it’s opening 20 years ago,” he said.

“Obviously, we still want residents to be able to access our Library catalogue from those branches, so staff have come up with some creative options, including a Mystery Box service for those looking to find a new author to read.”

Cr Williamson said opening a major library like Dudley Denny to just 10 people at a time would involve its own set of challenges.

“Fifteen minutes isn’t a lot of time, so library staff will be actively working with residents while they are queued up to help them access their reserves or find what they are after,” he said.

“Unfortunately, due to the time and number limits, accessing library computers won’t be practical during this stage of reopening.”

Due to social distancing requirements, Libraries programs will continue to be offered in digital format only, via council’s website and the Libraries Facebook page.

For more details on what Stage One of the re-opening means to you, head to mackay.qld.gov.au/libraries

Fact box: What the May 18 reopening means to you

  • No public computer services will be available during stage one of reopening
  • A Print and Post service will be operating so customers can email through important/essential documents and library staff will print and post out to them free of charge
  • Virtual programs will continue until at least mid-July
  • Public WIFI is available outside our library spaces

Dudley Denny City Library

  • Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm only.
  • Customers are limited to 15 minutes per visit
  • No more than 10 people at a time
  • This is the only location that will have customers entering the library for browsing. Please plan ahead where possible.

Mobile Library

  • To provide Library access to outlying areas, the Mobile Library will be reinstated as of Tuesday, May 19, on a revised schedule and with no school group visits.
  • The schedule will be available at mackay.qld.gov.au/libraries once finalised

Gordon White Library, Sarina, Walkerston and Mirani

  • Closed due to pre-planned maintenance works
  • Will be “open” for Click & Collect services from Monday to Friday – Gordon White from 10am to 4pm andSarina, Walkerston and Mirani from 1pm to 4pm
  • No public entrance into library areas

Click and Collect services

If you seek to borrow, there are three options:

  1. Plan ahead - download Mackay Libraries app and reserve your items in the library catalogue
  2. Complete a Click and Collect form on the website (mackay.qld.gov.au/libraries) with your preferred genre and quantity or phone Library staff on 4961 9387 to complete over the phone
  3. Ask for a “Mystery Pack” for adults, children or teens – batches of five items in various genres will be ready to check out for customers to collect