Kempsey Shire Library provides community support ahead of potential social distancing measures

As the coronavirus pandemic pushes people to consider social distancing and self-isolation, Kempsey Shire Library has moved to provide support through relaxed loan conditions and use of its digital collection.

The library has increased the maximum loans for members from 20 items to 30 and automatic renewals from two to four. The removal of fines for overdue items has also been brought forward as an additional measure, with fines ceasing immediately rather than on 1 July as previously authorised by the Councillors.

As a member of the Mid North Coast Co-operative Library Service, this means local residents have greater access to the shared catalogue of Kempsey and Port Macquarie-Hastings shire libraries.

Council’s Library Manager, Angie Meers, said Kempsey, Stuarts Point and South West Rocks library branches remain open for now, however, the community should be mindful that this could change at short notice.

“Residents are encouraged to ensure they are signed up as members to access the library’s free range of digital content from home. This includes live streaming films and documentaries, eBooks, audiobooks, magazines and music,” she said.

Following advice from federal and state health authorities, the library has made the decision to cancel all scheduled programs and events through to the end of the April school holidays until 27 April 2020.

“This includes all programs for young children and adults, as well as book club groups. The book club community can, however, continue their conversation online and library staff are available to assist with content delivery,” said Ms Meers.

“While the cancellation of our events is disappointing, given the current global situation, the library has had to take measured precautions for the safety of the community.”

The decision follows Council’s announcement on Monday that three events, including the Macleay Valley Bushfire Parade and Concert, would be postponed for the safety of the community.

Residents can access the Library’s digital content from home using their library membership card by going to www.kempsey.nsw.gov.au/library

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