Yesterday we conducted a survey on whether libraries should re-open or not. We had a 30% response which was very good considering the short amount of time that the survey was open.
54% of respondents supported libraries re-opening with appropriate health & safety measures. Members provided many other suggestions and concerns.
I think we can all agree that this is not an easy question, balancing the need to provide a valuable community service, particularly to socially isolated or vulnerable members of the community, against containing the spread of Covid-19 and not putting lives at risk.
When libraries re-open will be a decision of the State Government and the Chief Health Officer. Current restrictions end at midnight on Monday 11 May and there is no indication yet whether the restriction on libraries opening will be extended or not.
Whether it is this month, next month or the month after we need to be prepared and have clear demands for the safe re-opening of libraries.
In the meantime, we need to ensure that library services do all that they can to continue to provide services to the community and keep staff employed. We have been compiling a list of alternative methods of service delivery and alternative duties for library staff. Please contact your delegate or Organiser if you need ideas or assistance in your workplace.
A Zoom meeting for Library delegates is being held next Tuesday 12 May where we will discuss your feedback & suggestions on this issue. Please contact your delegate if there is anything specific that you would like them to raise at this meeting.
If you did not have time to complete the survey you can still let us know your views here.
We will provide an update on the next steps following the Library delegates meeting next week.