Three libraries in the Tamworth Local Government Area will close.
The latest NSW and Australian government COVID-19 measures to restrict people movement and have non-essential businesses close has prompted Tamworth Regional Council to close the Tamworth City, South Tamworth and Kootingal libraries from today.
Libraries which are run as part of council offices at Barraba, Manilla and Nundle will continue to operate as usual until further notice and subject to ongoing review.
TRC business and community director John Sommerlad said the decision to close three libraries was made on Sunday afternoon and followed the same decision made by the State Library of NSW.
"This is in line with other measures we are now living with in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in the wider community," Mr Sommerlad said.
Local residents will still be able to borrow books through a new click and collect service being launched tomorrow and run from Tamworth City Library. The home library service will continue to deliver to regular housebound clients and those required to self isolate within the Tamworth city area.
TRC cultural services manager Kay Delahunt said the positive news is that books can still be borrowed.
"At a time when we are to socially distance ourselves, books will become even more important for enjoyment, relaxation and learning," she said.
The click and collect service can be accessed through www.cnl.nsw.gov.au.
Readers can reserve the books they want to borrow and staff at Tamworth City Library will package them in plastic bag, check them out and then take to the loading dock in the laneway between the library and Parry House for collection. When a borrower arrives, they press the buzzer and they will receive their books.
Tamworth City Library staff are operating a telephone service on 6767 5228 to help with information requests and library e-services such as e-books, e-audio books, film streaming and other library electronic services. Work is being done today to add more telephone numbers.
Any library borrowers currently with books or other items will have their loan renewed for the period of the closure. At this stage it is not known how long to closure will be in place.