Cape Town closes libraries, offers ‘drop and pick-up’ service for readers

Libraries in Cape Town will close from Thursday to minimise the risk of Covid-19 contagion, the city council announced on Wednesday.



A day after saying libraries would remain open to people wishing to borrow or return reading material, mayor Dan Plato said a “drop and pick-up service” would be introduced instead.

“Library patrons may request material telephonically or via e-mail,” he said.

“Staff will prepare the material to be collected by patrons between 10am and 3pm daily from Monday to Friday at the library entrance. Library membership cards must be presented when collecting material.

Library materials on loan can be returned or dropped off at your library between 10am and 3pm daily.”

Plato said library users could search for material available using the online public access catalogue.

The return date for anything borrowed since March 1 will be extended to April 30. Up to 20 items can be borrowed for 30 days, then renewed either online or by telephone for another 30 days.

“Regrettably, no reservations or interlibrary loan requests can be accommodated during this period,” said Plato.

The mayor added that the number of people allowed in housing offices was being reduced. “At this stage, offices remain open. However, strong precautions are being taken to ensure a heightened level of hygiene and social distancing.”