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FAQ – Level 2

Is the Library open?

Yes.  See below for times:

  • Ōamaru Public Library:  From May 21, Monday – Friday 10am-3pm; closed on weekends.
  • Palmerston Library: From May 18,  Monday – Friday 10:30am- 3:30 pm 
  • Hampden Public Library: From May 23, Saturday: 10-12pm; Monday: 2-4pm & Wednesdays: 10-12pm
  • Ōmārama Public Library: From May 23, Saturday: 9-10am & Wednesday: 9-10am
  • Kurow Community Library: From May 25, Monday - Friday: 3.15 - 4pm.  NOTE: the Kurow Community Library will not open on Thursday evenings or on Saturday mornings during Covid Level 2.
  • Otematata: From May 23, Saturday: 10.30am - 12pm; Tuesday: 2.30 -3.30pm; Thursday 2.30 -3.30pm

You can also contact us by email: library@waitaki.govt.nz or by giving us a ring: 03 433 0850


Can I return my books now?


If you are an Ō​​amaru or Palmerston library user:

  • Ō​​amaru Public Library:  The bin will now be open all day, in the evenings and weekends.
  • Palmerston Library: The afterhours bin will be open all day as well as weekends and evenings.

If you have books from other branches (Ōmarama, Ōtematata, Kurow and Hampden) please now return them to that library when it opens (see the opening hours for these libraries, above).


What measures do you have in place to ensure my safety?

We are taking your health and safety very seriously, but we also expect you to do the same, so we have come up with 7 ways for us to work together as a team:

  1. If you are sick, stay home; don't return your books even through the after-hours bins;
  2. Check the online catalogue for the items you want before you come in: https://library.waitaki.govt.nz - use a list; bring your library card.  Staff will not be handling your personal effects including digital devices and library cards;
  3. Come alone if possible – we will be letting you in as 1 in and 1 out with a limit to the number of people allowed on the premises in relation to the size of our libraries;
  4. Sanitise your hands when you enter;
  5. You will sign a manual register for contact tracing purposes: your privacy will be protected;
  6. Stay 2 metres apart from people outside your bubble – both outside and inside the library – there will be markers for social distancing near kiosks and desks, as well as signage;
  7. Only stay for the time you need to do your transaction – e.g. borrowing items, using the computers, the WiFi etc. Please note, although computers will be available we are restricting their use to essential tasks. 


Can I still use your free WiFi?

Yes. The APNK - free public Wi-Fi will continue to be available at the following libraries: Ō​​amaru, Hampden, Palmerston and Kurow Libraries. 8am – 8pm.  Please continue to observe safe distancing practices between you and other users.


Can I use your computers?

Yes, but there will be some restrictions around their use.  You will be seated at a safe distance from others and will be encouraged to only perform essential tasks such as accessing government websites, CV writing, job seeking and applications.

Children will not have access to our computers.

We will ensure your safety by cleaning and sterilising the computers between uses.


I’ve run out of books to read; can I get some more from you?

Yes, from all of our libraries.  Otherwise, you can continue to access all our e-services as listed on this page: https://library.waitaki.govt.nz/ including e-books and e-audio books. Remember to have your library card number and password ready (your first name in lower case).


I don’t have a library card, can I get one?

Yes, if you don't have a library card you can apply in person at one of our libraries or you can ring us and organise one over the phone to be picked up later. 

For those of you whose libraries are not open, or only want access to our digital services, you can try registering (only available to Adults, sorry) for a digital library card HERE.  For digital registrations, please be sure to have a pen and paper with you so that you can record your new library card number and password before you exit the registration page as we cannot email you these details.


I’m worried I’m getting fines; am I?

No.  All items issued before 20/03/2020 are now due on 28/05/2020. With two of our main branches opening on the 21st of May you will also have enough time to return your books.


Will programmes such as Toddler Time, Book chats and clubs, as well as face to face tutoring, meetings, and any other get-togethers at the library be happening during Level 2?

No face-to-face programmes or get-togethers, such as student tutoring, JP meetings, etc., can be run at Level 2 as it is difficult to maintain the social distancing requirements and we need to limit the time people spend in the library. 

We are investigating virtual programmes: please contact us if you're interested in us running some of these via our Facebook page.​


Where can I find out more information about how our local government is managing the pandemic in our community?

For all COVID-19 Waitaki District Council updates, please go to: Waitaki District Council's Pandemic Response page

If you have questions about COVID-19 call the Ministry of Health's dedicated number 0800 358 5453 or go to COVID-19 webpage