COVID-19 Alert Level 2 at Libraries

Information on how libraries are operating at Level 2

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Libraries are open under Alert Level Two.

Before you visit the library

When you visit the library, things may look different and we may not be able to work as closely alongside you as normal. However, we’re still here to help! Please be patient with and follow the processes in place to help keep everyone safe.  Here’s what you need to know:

  • If you feel unwell, please stay at home. Our digital library is available for you to use 24/7.
  • You may have to wait. We may need to restrict the number of people within library spaces at any one time as well as the duration of time spent in there.
  • Contact tracing will be in place. You’ll need to sign in when you visit the library using the COVID Tracer app or manually. If you choose not to sign in, you will not be permitted to enter the library.  You do not need to sign out when you leave.
  • Children aged 12 and under need to visit the library with an adult.
  • You’ll need to maintain a two-metre physical distance with our staff and customers as you enjoy the library.
  • Our frontline staff may be wearing masks. We may also have screens in place to support physical distancing at some of our counters.
  • Most events expecting more than 50 people will be postponed. However, events within the TSB Space may still go ahead if physical distancing can be maintained.  Please check our event calendar for the latest information.
  • Regular programmes and events that you enjoy may be postponed, if physical distancing cannot be supported. Please check our event calendar for the latest information.
  • Our ability to help you with reference enquiries may be limited.  Reference services are still available via FingerTip Library.

Safety under Alert Level Two

The health and wellbeing of our customers and staff is our top priority. We are providing the necessary training and equipment to all staff as per our health and safety plan. We are also putting in place initiatives such as:

  • Contact tracing.
  • Personal hygiene measures as recommended by the government.
  • Regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
  • Frontline staff may be wearing masks
  • Monitoring and possibly restricting the number of people within library spaces at any one time, as well as the duration of time spent in there.
  • Regularly emphasising the importance of frequent handwashing to all our staff, regardless of whether they have direct customer contact or not.

Physical distancing

We will be monitoring our library spaces to ensure that safe physical distancing can be maintained. This will look different for all libraries.

Imagination Station at Tūranga

With Christchurch moving back into level 2, Imagination Station is planning to change their services accordingly. They will temporarily make the play areas off-limits but all ticketed/traced classes will continue with physical distancing encouraged.

Library cafes

Library cafes will remain open, provided that they are able to put appropriate physical distancing measures in place. Please consider supporting these local businesses when you visit the library.

Borrowing and returns

Quarantining borrowed books

We are not quarantining borrowed books. We are following best practice guidelines issued by SOLGM (Society of Local Government Managers) and the Head of COVID-19 Response Unit. These guidelines were developed after consultation with Ministry of Health, LIANZA (Library and Information Association New Zealand Aotearoa), National Library of New Zealand, and PLNZ (Public Libraries New Zealand).  As the risk of transmission from library returns is very low, we will be following our standard practice of discharging and shelving items as soon as they are returned.

Contactless borrowing

Library staff will be able to assist with borrowing and payments if you don’t wish to touch any of the booking facilities.

Washing your hands

You should sanitise your hands when you enter the library. We also encourage you to wash and dry your hands/use hand sanitiser when using library items at home for the first couple of days after issue, if you are concerned.

Library services and facilities

Public computers

Some computers will be available for public use so long as physical distancing between you and the next person is maintained. Time limits may be in place to ensure fair access for customers. Computers and keyboards will be regularly cleaned. 

Self-service kiosk cleaning

Self-serve kiosks will be cleaned regularly with proper equipment. Hand sanitiser will also be available at or near kiosks for customers to use before and after touching the screens.

3D printers and laser cutters

Our 3D printers and laser cutter are currently not available for in-library use.  You are able to order 3D prints of your own design here.

Programme and Event FAQs 

Programmes and events

We will be running some programmes and events at Level 2 where less than 50 people are expected and where we are confident that we can safely manage physical distancing and contact tracing. Find the latest information on our event calendar at This will include information on how to book your place, if needed.

Babytimes and Storytimes

Babytimes and Storytimes sessions will only continue where we can ensure physical distancing.  We strongly recommend that you check individual session details at Some Storytimes videos are available to enjoy on our website.

Afterschool programmes

Certain afterschool clubs and activities will continue in some libraries. Find the latest information on our event calendar at

JP sessions

JP sessions are currently not being offered. Keep checking for the latest information.

Venue bookings

Please contact our team on (03) 941 7923 to discuss your situation.