Choosing and browsing through books yourself – this will be possible again in the libraries from Monday. Work there and read half the book right away, but not yet. You are only allowed in with an FFP2 mask and the same applies as in retail, at least 20 square meters must be available per person.
Borrowed books extended until February 19th
There is no rush to come by, emphasized the libraries: All borrowed media were automatically added for an additional four weeks, i.e. by 19th of February extended. There are also no late fees. The libraries also urge you not to come on the first day to avoid traffic jams. Customers can find all return dates in their online account.
With the reopening of the libraries, the Click & Collect service will end with more than 13,000 pre-orders. Until Friday evening, pre-orders could still be made free of charge, now the usual framework conditions for pre-orders and borrowing apply again.
Existing library cards were also extended for the time of the closure. By the way, things brought back are no longer cleaned separately. The time interval until the next rental is enough, as they say.
Demand increased during pandemic
In any case, demand has increased during the pandemic. In 2020, the Viennese libraries recorded more new registrations despite lockdowns. There was also an increase of around 30 percent in the demand for digital media. There were around a million downloads last year, which is 230,000 more than in 2019.
Analog media were less in demand. The Viennese libraries recorded a decline of 15 percent here. However, the libraries were also closed for 13 weeks, and counting on the opening days they would have a plus in loans, it was emphasized. In the case of non-digital media such as books, around 15 percent less was borrowed due to the closing times.
In the Hernals library, the closure was used for renovation work. The branch at Hormayrgasse 2 now offers almost 350m2 of space for more than 38,000 books, films, music and much more. It also offers a wide variety of comics, graphic novels, and 1970s rock.