News Article

NMBM Officials report to libraries today

Published: October 15, 2020

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Library Services officials reported for duty on Thursday, 15 October 2020, as the City has entered a new phase in preparation to reopen the facilities.
This comes after the facilities were closed for more than five months due to the COVID-19 lockdown. While the lockdown was essential to curb the spread of COVID-19, it contributed to the vandalism and damage caused to the libraries.

As a result only 21 libraries out of 25 that are operated by the City, will reopen when all compliance regulations have been met. The Chatty library, Allanridge, KwaMagxaki and Boysen Park libraries will not be opened until repairs have been done.
As part of the preparations, staff members were sent to the City’s Wellness Centre for assessment and testing before returning to work and they have brought back assessment sheets today (Thursday 15 October 2020) indicating their status of wellness.
As of Thursday, 15 October 2020, staff members without co-morbidities and under 60, have returned to work to start preparing the facilities. This includes stock taking, house-keeping, getting the libraries COVID-19 compliant and ready to receive in coming stock and ultimately the public. 
The next cohort of staff of over 60 years without co morbidities will return on 21-27 October 2020; and there- after, the under 60's with co morbidities return 28 Oct -04 November.
The last cohort of over 60 years with co-morbidities will return on 4 Nov- 10 Nov 2020. In light of this, not all staff are at work due to the phased in approach, hence from 16 November the public will be allowed to return all library material in their possession, as well as call into the various libraries to request and collect library materials.
The one-month period will allow the libraries to quarantine all the library materials received from the public in preparation to recirculate, according to the COVID-19 guidelines. 
The City is targeting December as the month to reopen the libraries to the public; subject to libraries meeting all compliance requirements. The 21 libraries will open to the public but with prescribed restrictions.
In response to the badly damaged libraries, the library management has put out a report to the standing committee to highlight the plight of all the libraries. A budget request has been made in the item so that Council can recommend a budget to fix all the libraries that have been severely damaged.

Issued by the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Communications Office.

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