Residents are adapting to the new ‘norm’ at Mildura Rural City Council Libraries, after several branches reopened to the public under modified operating procedures last month.
Mildura, Merbein and Red Cliffs libraries recommenced face-to-face operations in June, much to the delight of patrons, following an easing of some COVID-19 restrictions across Victoria.
All three branches are open for borrowing and returning library items, while external return chutes are accessible 24 hours a day to allow users to return items without having to enter library buildings.
There’s also been a change to opening hours across all three branches, with the Mildura Library open from 10am to 5pm on Mondays and 10am to 6pm Tuesday to Friday.
The Red Cliffs and Merbein libraries are open from 1pm to 5pm Tuesday to Friday.
Services like photocopying and printing, computer and Wi-Fi access, newspaper browsing and group programs and events, however, remain unavailable.
Councillor for Arts and Culture Jason Modica said it was great to see library facilities reopen to the public in this capacity.
“Residents have really missed being able to visit their local library, and it’s great to see patrons adapt to the changes we have put in place, which has been done in line with Department of Health and Human Services requirements,” he said.
“When visiting these branches, it’s important to use the hand sanitisers provided, and follow directions from staff.
“It’s also important to stay home if you are feeling unwell, and get tested for COVID-19 even if you only have mild symptoms.”
Cr Modica said library users returning items will notice these are not immediately removed from their library account.
“Returned library items are quarantined for 72 hours before they are cleaned, according to the Department of Health and Human Services requirements, and then checked back into the library,” he said.
“A number of other procedures are in place to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors, this includes a limit on the number of people able to enter a branch at any one time.”