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Accelerated Renovation Closes Timaru Library, But Collection Service Launched

Timaru Library is to remain closed for a further eight weeks, but will emerge renewed following internal renovations.

The council has decided as part of its economic stimulus plan to keep the building closed and accelerate all the currently planned internal renovations over a significantly shorter period.

These include a full re-carpeting, building of the new community room and replacement of heating systems.

Timaru Library will offer a new click or call and collect service for a limited selection of items which can be reserved over the phone, through the library website or on the new, free Timaru District Libraries App.

Temuka and Geraldine Libraries will open on Thursday as normal with capacity limits and contract tracing in place.

24 Hour Returns slots will be available at all sites, there are about 15,000-20,000 items out at the moment and, once returned, will also be included in the selection available for people to reserve.

Libraries Manager Adele Hewlett said that operating the library at the same time as undertaking renovations, while still maintaining physical distancing would be incredibly difficult.

“While we’d love to open as normal at Level 2, we also need to get moving with the critical internal upgrades to the library. Keeping the library building closed allows us to get on with the work and deliver it much earlier than planned and in a more efficient manner,” she said.

“The accelerated work programme also enables us to do our bit to stimulate our local economy by bringing more local contractors and subcontractors on site now, rather than spreading it out over the planned 36 weeks.

“We know our contractors are keen to get out and get working again and we’re keen to get the improvements on the library completed, so we couldn’t turn down this opportunity to deliver a better, brighter and warmer library in a quicker and more cost-effective manner.”

Timaru residents will be able to access thousands of our most popular items from the adult library catalogue and the full Children’s collection, then use the reservations system to reserve the items they want. People can have a maximum of 10 items out at any time.

All Timaru District Libraries cards are valid over our whole network, so people are also able to visit and get items from Temuka and Geraldine Libraries.

“People used to using the reservations system will be able to use this system easily, and our friendly library staff will be on the end of the phone for anyone that needs help getting set up.

“Once your book is ready to collect, we’ll call or send you details of where to collect your items.

“For those who can’t make it out we also continue have thousands of e-books and audio books available on our online library, and we’ll continue our housebound book delivery service.”

While at Levels 3 and 4, Library staff have been a core part of the Civil Defence welfare response, making thousands of calls to proactively check in with the over 60s identified through various council databases.

“This has been really rewarding work for our Library staff, and our calls have been really welcomed by the community. It’s fantastic as we begin to open up more that we can get back to our core tasks, but we’re still at the end of the phone for anyone that needs help adjusting to our new services.”

For more information on library services and how to access them, visit timarudistrictlibraries.co.nz

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