Skip to main content

FAQs for Customers

FAQs for Customers

COVID-19: Cairns Libraries Re-Opening

What restrictions are currently in place?

Council continues to follow the advice of Federal and State authorities regarding measures aimed at restricting the spread of COVID-19.  

The Queensland Government has recently released the Roadmap to easing Queensland’s restrictions with current reference to Libraries (and subject to change based on Government advice):

Stage 1 – gatherings of up to 10 people permitted (excludes staff).

How is COVID-19 and the restrictions impacting our service levels.

Council’s two key priorities when it comes to day-to-day operations are the safety of our staff and the community, and the continuity of Council services.

The eased restrictions have permitted public libraries to reopen from midnight 15 May 2020.  Whilst Cairns Libraries are now able to reopen, our service levels have been impacted by the mandatory restrictions in place.
Council will impose a 30 minute limit on time being spent by each library visitor.

What services will be available to our residents?

To minimise time inside libraries and to observe the 10 people at any one time, patrons will only be able to:

  • Borrow, return, join, and browse collections.
  • Return borrowed items through after-hours return chutes
  • Pick up holds via self-service when ready for collection
  • Use self-service checkouts

What services are not available?

The following unavailable services are subject to change (based on Government advice):

  • Public computers & printing
  • Wi-Fi
  • Online Public Library Catalogues computers
  • Study and reading areas
  • Magazine and newspaper collections
  • Meeting rooms
  • Council customer service offices
  • Public programs and events
  • Homebound services

What WH&S measures are in place to ensure visitor safety?

Council continues to work within key WH&S principles.  Patrons are asked to sanitise their hands upon entering the library branch and to continue to practice safe social distancing and hygiene while in the library.

How can I reserve items?

Council would encourage members to continue to use the online library catalogue to make reservations and view member information. Visit

What if my membership is barred?

If you are having any issues with your membership due to an overdue item, please phone your local library branch or complete our web form

When do I bring my books back?

Now that all library return chutes are open, members are encouraged to return their library items. Return chutes are available 24/7.  A return chute is also available at the DFO.

We encourage the return of all library books that may now be overdue due to our recent closure.

What if an item I want to keep is reserved and I can’t renew it?

The item will need to be returned to the library to ensure that your membership privileges are reinstated.

Will I be charged any overdue fees?

No. Council does not charge overdue fees for late library items. Once overdue items have been returned, your membership status returns to normal.

How are we going to quarantine the books and resources?

Council is following guidelines provided by its professional library body – Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and as such all items will be quarantined for a period of 3 days (72 hours).

How will I be informed of any changes?

Council will continue to update the community via its website, Cairns Libraries website and through social media.