Libraries anticipating surge of returns from Waipā book lovers
Waipā District Libraries have reopened under Delta Level 2, but with nearly 28,000 books to be returned, quarantined and sanitised following lockdown, its librarians are in for quite a job.
Approximately 28,000 books were lent to Waipā users at the time New Zealand’s re-entered COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
Community services manager Sally Sheedy said library staff had a near-unimaginable number of books to quarantine, sanitise and return into the system.
“Our library staff are going to be extremely busy ensuring the large selection of books are returned safely to the library for people to take out.”
Waipā District Libraries offered an amnesty for booklovers over lockdown – promising no fees would be issued for late returns as a result of government restrictions.
Sheedy said she was pleased to see such a large uptake of reading during the lockdown among Waipā residents.
“We’re very happy to see just how many books were issued as it shows our residents truly value our libraries.”
To allow books to be properly treated, Sheedy asked for Waipā residents to carefully place the books into the after-hours slot rather than dropping them off at the front desk.
“We’ve set up a great process to sanitise and quarantine our books before being returned to the system, so our residents can feel comfortable using our services.”
Sheedy said the process would be carefully followed to get books back onto shelves safely without damage or putting staff at risk.
Waipā District Libraries reopened at Delta Level 2 with reduced hours and restricted capacity to 30 people at a time for a maximum time limit of 20 minutes. More information on opening hours can be found at waipadc.govt.nz/covid-19 or at the Waipā District Libraries website waipalibraries.org.nz.
Just what does 28,000 books look like?
- Two packed-out Spark Arenas
- 2.1 billion words (based on the average word count for the average fiction novel)
- Enough books for a combined population of Cambridge, Kihikihi, Ōhaupō, Rukuhia and Pirongia– plus spares!