Council Chief Executive, Heather Shotter, says while the government’s alert level is currently at level two and we know how much our residents value our libraries, we are taking pre-emptive action to minimise risks to our community.
“Our libraries are used by more than 17,000 members of our community every week, but the health and wellbeing of our employees and our community is the most important thing.
“While it was a hard decision to make to close our libraries, especially with the school holidays coming up, we know we’ve made the right call, and we are confident our community will agree this is a prudent step at this time,” she says.
Check-out times will be automatically extended, and overdue fees waived. Residents are being asked to hold onto all currently checked out items, as the return slots in branches or book bins will be closed.
Residents and visitors are encouraged to make use of the Libraries’ digital offerings while the physical facilities are closed.
“Our digital library remains open, which means residents have access to more than 35,000 e-books, e-audiobooks, magazines, and the online learning service. The Children’s Digital Library offers movies, homework help and virtual story time,” says Ms Shotter.
Our library team have been notified, and we are looking at re-deploying them into other Council teams.
Community Centres and other facilities also close
Awapuni, Kelvin Grove, Milson, Rangiora, Highbury, Ashhurst and Pacifika Community Centres are now closed. The Community Leisure Centre and Highbury Whanau Centre are also closed. However, the Alternative Education Programme will continue to run at the Highbury Whanau Centre.
“While our community centres are often the heart and soul of our suburbs and this closure will be very disappointing for many people, they are used by some of our most vulnerable residents, and we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to keep our community safe,” says Ms Shotter.
Caccia Birch, The Stomach and Centrepoint Theatre are also now closed. Hancock House is closed to walk-ins but appointments will continue.
This follows decisions yesterday to close CET Arena and the Conference and Function Centre and CET Wildbase Recovery. Te Manawa is also closed, and will review that decision in two weeks.
We’re keeping a close eye on other facilities
We’re constantly reviewing all of our facilities as we receive updates from the Ministry of Health and Government. We’re following their advice and the Local Government Covid-19 Response Team Council Facilities Closure Framework.
The Lido, Freyberg Pool and Splashhurst remain open, but all programmes, except the after school programme, will now be stopped. Our operators, CLM, are cleaning hourly, and ensuring there isn't more than 100 people in the facilities at a time.
We’ll update our community as soon as possible if any other facilities or services are affected.