Queues as Puke Ariki and community libraries reopen

Local News

While readers have feasted on eBooks and eAudiobooks during Alert Levels 3 and 4, bookworms itching to get their hands on the real thing queued outside NPDC’s Puke Ariki as it opened its doors for the first time since the lockdown.

Puke Ariki Library and Bell Block, Waitara, Inglewood, Oakura and Urenui libraries have all reopened under Covid-19 Level 2 with measures in place to keep people safe as they browse for books.

NPDC Spokesperson Jacqueline Baker says Puke Ariki has done an amazing job virtually as people stayed in their bubbles and the reopening meant there was now another option for those craving a good read.

“Our library team has gone above and beyond during the lockdown, lending out record numbers of eBooks and eAudiobooks – some 12,600 in April - with Puke Ariki open virtually 24/7 for our residents,” says Ms Baker. “We’re now safely open for business for those wanting to get their hands on everything from magazines, newspapers to romance novels to children’s and young adult books.”

Level 2 measures at the libraries include contact tracing registers for all those who enter, hand sanitiser at numerous locations including the entrance, multiple cleans each day and restrictions on how many people can go in at any one time.

“Our libraries are incredibly popular with about 850,000 visits each year so if people could limit their time to around half-an-hour that would be great as it would mean more people get to visit them. We thank everyone for their patience and kindness as we all adapt to our new Covid-19 reality.”

Residents wanting to give feedback on NPDC’s Back On Our Feet measures to help residents and local businesses hit by the Covid-19 economic storm will be able to fill out a hard copy survey at Puke Ariki and the Bell Block, Inglewood and Waitara service centres. Those who take part go in the draw to win up to $500 in SOS Business vouchers to support local businesses.

Puke Ariki Museum and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery will reopen on 25 May, also with the appropriate Level 2 safety measures for visitors. Public programmes remain on hold at the venues but will continue online at pukeariki.com and govettbrewster.com.