Mareeba Shire Council will be introducing a service to allow users to borrow their favourite books while the branches are closed to the public due to government restrictions amid the coronavirus event.

A council spokesperson said Council identified that many book lovers within the community who are now required to stay at home do not have access to online resources. “The library plays an important service to the community, and many users rely on being able to borrow books, DVD’s, CD’s and magazines to keep their minds active,” he said.

“Being isolated at home without something to read can have a very negative impact on someone’s wellbeing.

“We are making this service available in a safe and controlled way to help residents through these challenging times.”

While library branches remain closed to public access, staff are available to assist those wanting to borrow books, DVD’s, CD’s and magazines.

“There are strict measures in place to ensure the community and staff are protected from potential infection of COVID-19. Library staff will be following these guidelines to ensure the borrowing service is very controlled and safe for everyone,” the spokesperson said.

Library users can order their books online or by phone and then will be contacted by phone or email with a designated time to pick-up the items.

“There will be no interaction between the staff and the public,” the spokesperson said.

“Library staff will leave the books on a table at the entrance to the library, ready for them to be collected at a designated time.”

Council is reminding residents they are not to make a special trip to the library and should only coordinate the collection with essential business such as groceries or medical appointments.

“Remember if you are not doing essential business, you are required to be at home,” the spokesperson said.

“Once the items are returned, they will then be taken off the shelf for 7 days before being cleaned to mitigate any potential contamination.”

The controlled borrowing service is available at the Mareeba and Kuranda branches only. Dimbulah and Chillagoe Library users are encouraged to contact the Mareeba Library to discuss borrowing arrangements.

For assistance phone the Mareeba or Kuranda Library branches.