The doors of the Katikati Library and Service Centre at Pātuki Manawa reopened to welcome customers to a new normal last Thursday, with many borrowers relieved to be back.

The new normal is a slightly different way of visiting a library and doing council business.

Team leader libraries western Sue Halsey says like many other businesses and organisations, the library team had been busy in the days before reopening ensuring they could operate safely in Covid-19 alert level 2.

"Within the first two days of opening, about 650 visitors went through the doors and all were more than happy to comply with physical distancing rules, hygiene procedures, time limits and giving their details for contact tracing as they entered."

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She says borrowers returned more than 1400 books they had read over lockdown and issued a fresh selection to take home.

"These books have been placed in quarantine for a few days and will gradually make their way back on to the shelves."

Sue says elderly customers, who had been among the first to isolate themselves back in late March, were especially happy to be out and about, and parents with children were excited to be changing books that they had read over and over during lockdown.

"Regular borrowers smiled as they were reunited with the familiar faces of the library team and commented how relieved they were to be back."

For those borrowers still unable or unsure about being around others, the library has implemented a Book Bundle service.

Customers can email or phone, and the team will choose a bespoke selection of books for non-contact collection.