In the interest of the health and safety of both the community and our employees and to reduce the possibility of any exposure to the COVID 19 virus no matter how remote, Council has reviewed the current services offered by the library teams across the Shire.

A decision has been made to temporarily suspend Story Time, Rhyme Time, Computer Classes, Author-Rised writing group and the Book Clubs. Neighbourhood Central has also advised that they will be suspending the Home Library Service until further notice.

In addition, a decision has been taken to temporarily limit the computer and printing service operating in the Parkes branch and smaller town branches.

The suspension of the abovementioned services takes effect from Wednesday 17 March 2020 and will be in place until Friday 24 April 2020. The situation will be constantly monitored during that time.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "this is a very difficult decision to make as we truly understand the community impact of a suspension of these much-loved programs and facilities, particularly on those who rely on their Library for community space early learning programs. We will be monitoring the situation closely, in consultation with local health authorities and the guidance of the State Library of NSW and will make our facilities available again as soon as we are able to do so."

"The libraries themselves are open as normal for general borrowing and reading."

Council urges the community heed the advice of NSW Health before considering visiting public places such as libraries. NSW Health advises that the best way to protect yourself is the same as you would against any respiratory infection. That is, practice good hygiene by:

  • making sure to clean your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub on a regular basis throughout the day.
  • cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow
  • avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • If you have flu like symptoms, make sure you stay home and if you are sick, obey the principles of social distancing and seek appropriate medical advice.

Don’t forget Council has a number of online library services available at all times and these can be accessed as always from the Library section on Council's website.

"Council is taking this action to help contain the potential spread of the virus and protect the health of our community and staff. Further information and updates regarding the Library and other Council services will be provided as they become available," concluded Cr Keith.