Although library buildings across the country are currently closed, Suffolk Libraries is making sure that people stuck at home can still get access to books, music, films as well as new interactive streamed sessions.
Several libraries have already been recording and streaming live singing and rhyme sessions for young children, as well as running craft and Lego activities to enjoy at home. These videos have already been enjoyed and shared thousands of times. Quizzes and virtual book groups are also being introduced as Suffolk Libraries explores different ways to keep people entertained. Full details of these new sessions can be found on the Suffolk Libraries website.
Suffolk Libraries is promoting its extensive eLibrary which provides free access to around 60,000 titles including eBooks, eAudiobooks, online newspapers, magazines, music, films and educational courses. There is plenty of content for families too with books on how to make crafts, eAudiobooks for children and Kanopy Kids which offers free streaming of programmes and movies.
Extra content is being added to cope with the significant increase in demand with around a 200% increase in people using the eLibrary and streaming services over the past week. Visits to the Suffolk Libraries elibrary webpages have increased from nearly 2,000 to over 9,000 in the past week.
Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, said:
“It’s a very challenging time for everyone at the moment and with library buildings closed we’re doing everything we can to provide content, information and entertainment. We’re working on plans to keep in contact with regular customers who might be isolated but we’re delighted that so many of our wonderful staff have risen to the challenge to run online activities which will hopefully make a difference to people across the county.”
Home Library Service volunteers have also been encouraged to stay in touch with their customers too.
Suffolk Libraries is also helping to promote Suffolk’s new Home but Not Alone scheme. People can call 0800 876 6926 for information or support during the current crisis.