We’re back again (again)!

Thank goodness for the arrival of the merry month of May. In this bulletin, we can be a bit more hopeful than in the last few months.

Come in!

The big news for the centre is that, at last, we have a semblance of normality back.
The past year of pandemic has been difficult for all; and, on top of that, as many of you will also be aware, we have had some major internal construction work being done, in the form of a new gas heating system, which has only just been completed.
However, now we can properly open again.

local reference Blythe Library
Welcome in!

On two days a week, people are once again welcome inside the doors of the library-centre. Our doors are again open to the public on Tuesdays & Fridays 9.30am-2.30pm – for Drop-Off of books, ‘Order & Collect’, Grab Bags of books and Managed Browsing.
You can once again use the computers (though you must book ahead) and there is now a special study-space, with PC, for students. And the printers are again usable.
But, we will still have to be COVID-compliant, for the sake of our volunteers and all. So – please be a little more patient with us than usual; it is worth it. For a full run-down of our COVID strategies, please click here.

Toddler groups

The next item on our agenda will be the safe return of parent & child activities. We know what we want to do, but everything has to be right first, of course.
As part of that plan for the future we have a vacancy for a Part-time Play Facilitator to help set up our revised playgroup on Monday mornings. For details of the role, please click here – please get any application in by Friday (7th May).
‘Stay and Play’ will not be returning in its old form, partly because Sharon, the real rock of inspiration behind ‘Stay & Play’, is moving on after five years of commitment. Thank you so much Sharon!

stay and play at Blythe Library
Play sessions will be back soon we hope

(Thankfully, Sharon is not leaving, but just taking a side step into supporting Care & Fun and the Blythe Centre in other ways).
Nevertheless, the Care & Fun Charity, that runs the centre, remains utterly committed to supporting local families. Watch this space!

Still in place

Just a reminder that certain concessions introduced at the start of the pandemic are still in place, including the fact that there are still no overdue charges for the late return of items.
Also, we continue to offer our Home Reader service. Anyone who is physically unable to visit a library can have books, audio books and music delivered to their home by library-volunteers or, alternatively, have items collected from the library for them by a friend or relative. Members on the home-reader list are not charged for borrowing or requesting books, audio-books or music.

Computers for all

Finally, you may be one of those people who learned to love your computer in the last year – and may be thinking of upgrading now.
Well – don’t throw away your old computer or tablet: donate it instead!

A recycled computer can be very useful

The county Libraries Service is working with the Community Foundation for Staffordshire on the Donate-It project, which aims to provide recycled I.T. equipment to local people who can’t afford it. Such equipment is vital nowadays for people who need to learn, apply for jobs, access health services, and indeed to reduce loneliness.

What do we need? Here are some examples: laptops (with charger); tablets; keyboards; and any type of mouse.
Just drop them off; we’ll do the rest.

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Re-opening hopes

This April bulletin includes news of: hopes for the centre’s future, in the short and long term; a poster competition; and help with those online headaches.

Hopes
As you may know, many of our sister libraries across Staffordshire have now re-opened – but we at Blythe are still only providing ‘lobby services’. This is because we still have contractors in, fixing the heating. It is very frustrating!
All we can say is that the team here are fully ready for a return to normality; and we hope the repairs will be done by the beginning of May.
Our ‘order and collect’ service and our ‘phone-buddy’ offer continue as usual though.

Survey
Lockdown has given us time to think about how we can improve what we do here, and expand it. We have lots of ideas!
But we do need to hear from you as well.
To help us formulate what services are needed, there is an online survey that we’d please ask you to complete. It’s very straightforward, and shouldn’t take more than five minutes of your time, and it really will help us a lot to see what you say.
Click on the link to access the Blythe Bridge Library Survey and – thank you!

Poster competition
Having the kids at home during lockdown was exhausting but (sometimes!) quite satisfying, wasn’t it? Nobody would want to go back to that situation, but it was often fun working with our children on activities.

British Science Poster Competition – Early Ages category winner 2020

If you miss that side of it, why not encourage your kids to enter the British Science Poster Competition. Young people – of any age – can create a poster about this year’s theme ‘Innovating For the Future’, and submit it by April 30th.
Click on Science Poster Competition to check out the guidelines. And – please – email us a photo of your entry too!

Help with those IT issues
Lockdown has been quite a struggle for some of us in the technology area. Having to learn Zoom, how to download documents, dealing with ‘memory-full’ alerts etc etc has been very challenging.
So, please, if you do know someone who is finding online activities hard to deal with, please remind them that Staffordshire Libraries do run a free telephone support service offering IT advice.
When requested, a friendly Staffordshire Community Learning person will give a call and help sort out the issue.
The service is not just for lockdown but for the foreseeable future.

First, though registration is required, which is done either by completing the online form or calling 0300 111 8000. You can also give us a call here at Blythe Centre on 01782 485269 – we can explain more about how the service works, and even help you to register for the service.

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E-lending update

Welcome to our Spring 2021 bulletin.
Usually, this would be a time for announcing new projects and laying out our events-schedule for the year. However, this Spring, what can we do but be cautiously hopeful that everything will be better “sometime soon”?  However, what we here at the centre shall definitely do is carry on as best we can.

In this bulletin, we’ll be outlining some of the recent changes to the way library members can borrow electronic versions of books and magazines etc – ‘e-books’.

But first, a mention about the domestic issues we’ve been having.
As you will know, the heating system packed up at the beginning of the year, and efforts to fix it haven’t been successful – so it’s being replaced. Gas pipes are in the process of being laid and a new boiler put in place. The volunteers here have had to do quite a dance working around the contractors. (Well done to them!)

What we are hoping is that the installation will be fully completed by the end of April, which also – let’s hope! – will coincide with a full re-opening in this country of public centres like ours.
But, be reassured, in the meantime, our books order & collect service is carrying on regardless. Also our phone number is now being ‘diverted’, so we miss none of your calls.

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E-lending

We know that a lot of members have been turning to electronic books in this time, using their phones or computers as reading devices.
So you may be wondering about the news that that one of the library’s e-lending platforms is shutting down, and wondering what effect that this will have.
The answer is: not much really!

Up to now, members who borrowed magazines electronically (‘e-magazines’) would have used the RB Digital platform.  Well, RB Digital has now been discontinued, to be replaced by the Libby platform.

Borrowing an e-book
-book

So, this is how e-lending works now for Staffordshire Libraries members (remember, Blythe Bridge Library is part of Staffordshire Libraries).

There are three platforms:-
~Libby, through which you now get books, audiobooks, graphic novels, and magazines. It is the only platform for free magazines, so, if you read magazines, you will need to download the Libby app.
(Libby is also useful in that it has a range of American classics, and books in alternative languages).  
~Borrowbox and ULibrary, which you probably already have if you’ve been using our e-lending services up to now.  On these two, you can get books and audiobooks.

To get into these platforms you need to download and install them on your device, be it phone or tablet or whatever.
To download the Libby programme (‘app’), click on this link, and follow the instructions
If you haven’t already done so before, download the ULibrary programme (‘app’) by clicking on this link, and following the instructions
If you haven’t already done so before, download the Borrowbox programme (‘app’) by clicking on this link, and following the instructions

(Don’t forget:  you need your Library membership number and your Library PIN to access material for free on all these platforms).

NB   For electronic versions of newspapers, you don’t need to download any app at all! (Click here to see what you have to do)

But why 3 platforms?

Good question!
It’s all about providing range. E-libraries don’t always have a huge choice, so having three platforms gives you more choice and variety, because you will find some books on one platform but not on the others.
To browse the book / magazines /audiobooks catalogues, across all three platforms, please click here.

By the way… sometimes it’s a bit of a surprise to some members that e-libraries are not bigger in their choices.
Actually, the fact is that you have access to thousands more free books through your local library (when it’s properly open of course), especially if you reserve them in advance. So, e-lending is great, yes, but it doesn’t have the choices provided by the real thing! 

Elements to e-lending

One great thing about our e-lending service though is that all items automatically disappear from your devices after the borrow period (unless they have been renewed or ‘returned’) – so … no over-due fees!

Finally, if some aspects of this are perplexing, remember that we offer a free ‘IT buddy phone service’ to talk through how to download and work each of these platforms and their apps.
Contact us – on 01782 485269 – explain roughly what the issue is for you, and leave your own telephone number – and we will call you back and arrange a convenient date & time with you for a full conversation on how it all works and how to do it.

**Please note, none of our e-lending platforms are available for Kindle, though Kindle-Fire users can use the original OverDrive app.

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The stimulation of reading

UPDATE: The centre will be closed on Friday 19th February and perhaps into the following week. Please check our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Hello. Features in this bulletin include: activities for babies’ minds; news about the extension of library membership; a poem by Maya Angelou; and a story for children. Read on…

Stimulating activities for toddlers
Young parents have been telling us how much they miss the parent & toddler sessions at the centre. Let’s hope we can bring them back soon!

In the meantime, parents might like to know of an initiative set up by Staffordshire Libraries.
If you sign up for The Hungry Little Minds Campaign, you get fortnightly emails which outline fun, easy activities to do with a baby or toddler under 2 years old. The activities are specific to age, from three months to eighteen months and so on.
The videos, songs and nursery rhymes to which you are directed help a baby learn about sounds, speech and conversation.

This initiative is incredibly important. In Staffordshire one in four children is struggling to reach good communication development by the age of four, and this means they are at a disadvantage when they start school. In lockdown, with such low levels of interaction, it’s even tougher.
Parents can sign up for this scheme at www.staffordshire.gov.uk/hungrylittleminds

A poem from Maya
February is always LGBT-Plus Month, and Staffordshire Libraries are taking part, as they always do. The month is a chance to raise awareness of, and combat prejudice against, gays and transgender people – while celebrating their achievements too.

This year the organisers put the stories of five people at the forefront of the project, and it’s terrific that the life of a great writer – Maya Angelou – is one of those stories. In her life Maya Angelou stood up for gay people like herself – and suffered for it.

Her first book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) is a 20th century classic of course, but her poetry is also marvellous.
In the short video here, an enthusiast for her work reads one of Ms Angelou’s great poems.

Library Membership update
As we expected, there has been a surge in library membership since the first lockdown nearly a year ago. Across Staffordshire, 5,000 new members have signed up.
We are pleased to add that, due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we will be extending everyone’s membership to 3 years from when they joined; and anybody new who joins will also automatically be given a 3 year membership!
If you are not a member of the library yet, please visit the Self Registration webpage to join.

And, don’t forget… here at Blythe, we are usually open (even in lockdown) two days a week to hand out books, and we’d love to see you. Check our Facebook page for details.

Is everyone sitting comfortably?…

Finally, as you’ll know, National StoryTelling Week falls in February, so thought we’d have a story for you.
The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kohara is a wonderful children’s book and here’s a reading by a Libraries volunteer…

For more story-telling on video, please go to the Staffordshire Libraries YouTube Channel. Enjoy!

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For more information please call the library on 01782 485269.

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Dealing with Lockdown

Welcome to Lockdown no 3… Well, maybe ‘welcome’ is not quite the right word, but here we are, so we must make the best of it.

To open, or…

When Mr Johnson announced the lockdown, we knew we had to make some decisions about whether to keep the library centre open or not – and eventually it came down to what each & every one of us here thought would be best for us as individuals and for us as a community.

The heads of Staffordshire Libraries decided to keep the county’s main branches open, but left us community branches (which are run by volunteers) to decide for themselves; and around half of the county’s community branches, and all its mobile libraries, did in fact decide to shut.
However, after a deal of discussion, we have decided to remain open, keeping the same opening hours and restrictions as in the autumn.
The government do see libraries as an “essential service”, and so does the volunteer team here at Blythe.

Volunteers at Blthe Lib

So, we will continue to provide service. You can still reserve books to pick up here, and more (see our homepage for a list of services).
Obviously, all could change – though we hope not! -, so please keep an eye on our Facebook page for the latest updates.

Ancestry still available

Back in the Spring, during the first lockdown, ‘Ancestry’ the family history website, announced it would allow all library users access to its site, for free, for a month. It has then gone on to extend that offer every month since.
And sure enough, it’s doing it again, but this time, for three months. As a member of Staffordshire Libraries, you can access Ancestry Library Edition at home until the end of March 2021 – so you can really get stuck into your family history now!

Logo of ancestry library edtion

To access the site you need to log in to your Library account here https://www.yourlibcat.staffordshire.gov.uk/web/arena/user-pages, then make sure you are in the ‘Account’ section and then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link where it says ‘Access Ancestry Online’. (If you’re struggling with the process, or need to become a library member, please give us a call during our opening hours).
Here’s a handy Ancestry Guide to get you started.

Explaining Covid to the youngsters

There’s nothing like a colourful book to explain things to young children, which is why we’ve partnered with a publishing firm to produce ‘Coronavirus – A Book For Children’. This short e-book, available free, answers key questions in simple language, appropriate for 5 to 9 year olds, and is illustrated by Axel Scheffler, the man who did the pictures for The Gruffalo.

If you have a printer at home you can download and print it, or you can just read it off your computer. There’s even an audio version, read by actor Hugh Bonneville, if your children prefer headphone-listening.

All the advice you need – on one page

For many of us, it’s not that there’s too little advice available, it’s that there’s too much!
So, Staffs Libraries have checked out a lot of the websites out there, and then gathered the best links to all the main advice you’ll need, especially local. They’re all now neatly on just one web-page, where you’ll find links to all sorts of stuff from home-lessons for kids, to wellbeing, to online courses for adults.
We call it the Useful Resources In Lockdown Page – cos that’s just what it is!

Feeling blue?

Many of us got through the first two lockdowns as best we could, but in those the weather was on our side. A January lockdown is not so much fun, and some of us are feeling distinctly low.

If you think this isolation is turning into an issue for you, or someone you know, a 24-hour mental health helpline is now up and running in north Staffordshire, and has already received more than 500 calls.
The Brighter Futures Helpline, established by the local authorities, provides callers with a safe, confidential space to talk to counsellors about things. You can call, day or night, any time, on 01782 234233.

….And, finally…

As Tiny Tim said, in a famous book by Charles Dickens: God bless us, every one!

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Looking forward

Good grief, what a year it has been! But, yet, once again, time has flown – and we are almost into a new year. It doesn’t seem possible it could have been that quick.

Just to let you know that our last day at the centre before the Christmas break is Tuesday 22nd Dec (9.30am-2.30pm). If you need to pick up books ready for the long winter nights, please reserve them as soon as possible, and we’ll try to have them ready for you to collect then. We can also just make up our choice of an assortment of books for you – what we call a ‘grab-bag’.
Do remember though that we only are operating what’s called ‘restricted foyer service’ at the centre, i.e. only click & collect really, and no entry into the library itself.
We re-open on Tuesday 5th January.

Incidentally, all current loans have been automatically extended, with the earliest due-back date being January 9th 2021 – and… our Christmas present to you – no overdue charges for the (very) late return of items then!

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Keeping busy

For some of us, Christmas will be excessively quiet compared to previous years. But – it need not be boring. We have once again extended free use of the Ancestry website to our members, this time for three months. Ancestry is a great resource for discovering family history!
Click on this link to find out how to access it.

If you are embarrassed by technology sometimes (and who isn’t?) one really great resource for members is our Guides to Digital. If you hoping to spend time this festive season catching up with relatives online and want to be ready, then you need these, our free introductions to: Zoom Meetings; Skype Guide; The Best Video Calling Apps for Android Phones; FaceTime on iPhones and iPads; and WhatsApp.
Just click on this ‘Digital Unite’ link.

By the way, if you know somebody who is not already a Staffordshire Libraries member, please encourage them to visit our website and join. It’s easy and it’s free.

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Talking is important

Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

We think our volunteers here at the Blythe Centre have done a great job with the local Phone-Buddy service – a weekly phone call to anyone who is feeling isolated.

But there’s another talking project you may like as well – ‘Reading Friends’.
If you love reading but don’t have anyone to chat with about the books you’re reading, then this is for you!
All it is is a phone-chat about reading, once a week. Interested? Email reading.friends@staffordshire.gov.uk

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…not forgetting the kids…

Very happy to say that The Reading Agency has launched another project – the ‘Winter Mini Challenge’ – to get kids reading over the holidays. If the children succeed in reading three books, there are rewards…

We at the centre can always recommend books for different age-groups for this challenge, but please remember that the last day for picking them up from us before 2021 is Tuesday 22nd Dec. If you can’t make that date, then you can still take e-books out of our e-library of course.

So… that’s it for 2020 (good riddance!)… but, still … wishing you a great Xmas and happy New Year and a peaceful 2021 – see you next year!!

For more information please call the library on 01782 485269.

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Keeping strong!

NOVEMBER 2020 LOCKDOWN-MONTH UPDATE
Please refer to our homepage for an update on services during lockdown

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October 2020

First… thanks to the dozens and dozens of people who have expressed their good wishes for our efforts since we re-opened. It’s good to know, not only that our efforts are appreciated, but that the community is still feeling positive.

And, although we can’t put on exhibitions or events, we are determined still to taken a full part in the life of the community.Poppy appeal 2020For example, this year there will be fewer Remembrance Poppy sellers on the streets – so we are stocking poppies for sale. Just drop in during our opening hours and get yours.

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Incidentally, some people have assumed that, because the pandemic is now over six months old, that our Phone Buddy service is no longer needed. How wrong they are, sadly.
This service consists of regular phone-call by one of our volunteers to an individual in the district who is isolating, or just feels too much on their own.
The service now works with nearly three dozen folk and brings definite benefits, we know.

It’s not a counselling service, but just a friendly phone-call. (If problematic issues do arise, we can make a referral though – with the individual’s consent of course).
The service is organised through the volunteer Care & Fun Charity, which is the community charity based here in Blythe Bridge (which also runs the Blythe library centre of course). So, you can imagine that, while we may be volunteers, we make sure we are ‘professional’.

Do you think you could be a volunteer Phone Buddy? It would require a little training, but not much, and you don’t need qualifications or experience to do it. It would need about an hour a week.
If you think you could, please contact Helen. We all need to ‘do our bit’, and this could be your contribution maybe.

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Remember that we now provide books in a number of ways – click & collect, grab-a-bag, through the online e-books library, and even (if you are housebound) books delivery. It’s all explained on another page – click here for details.However, we do love to see you in person as well, inside the centre!
Why not come in and look through our items for sale – lots of knitted baby-wear, but we have cushions, Christmas wreaths and more too (see them on display, in the pic above). Everything is priced between £5 and £10. All sales help our funds too.

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Finally, many of us have turned to local history in lockdown. It’s a boom area.
The Staffordshire History Festival, which is running at the moment (online, of course) is experiencing great levels of interest.

One thing the festival has come up with is its local-history quizzes. For example there is a Staffordshire Moorlands History Quiz.
So… we are asking you if you might be happy to make up similar local-history quizzes, along the same lines as the festival ones, for our catchment-areas specifically – Blythe Bridge, Draycott & Cresswell, Stallington, Forsbrook, Caverswall, Dilhorne.
Submit the questions and answers to blythecentre@gmail.com when you’re ready and we’ll publish the best!

Blythe Bridge Library is currently open Tuesdays and Fridays 9.30am-2.30pm.
For more information please call the library on 01782 485269.

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Welcome in!

A hearty welcome!
Naturally, there are still precautions to be respected, but it does honestly feel great to be able to demonstrate a proper welcome-in once again.

Services

However, all the initiatives we’ve come up over the last month will still remain in place.
So … if you are uncomfortable about coming into the space, we’ll still do Click And Collect (just contact us and we’ll pick out the books you want for you) and Grab And Go Bags (just tell us what sort of books you like to read and we’ll make up a selection) and even Book Delivery for The Housebound & Isolated.
Our Phone-Buddies system (give us a call if you are feeling isolated and want to talk over anything) will be running for the duration.
Computers are available for use – but must be pre-booked.
Please contact us for details of all these services.

Precautions

We are all getting used to the precautions, but they are still important. As much as protecting ourselves, the rules protect the wonderful volunteers who run the daily business of the centre. They must be protected.Wear a mask noticeSo….
# Masks please! (Or suitable face-covering). If you are exempt, do not enter the library, but wait in the lobby to talk to a volunteer and explain your exemption.
# We operate ‘track and trace’, so you will be required to give your name & contact details. The information will be destroyed after 21 days.
# Sanitising of hands as you enter the library is paramount. It means that if you touch a book, you won’t leave anything on it.
(Thus, any returned books must now be left in the box provided in the entrance, and not brought to the desk)
# You can now borrow 8 items at any one time. Please ensure you bring your library card!

One little word of warning. Con-artists, claiming to be contact-tracers, are already at work, making random calls to people. If you are contacted, remember to really check the credentials of the person who’s calling.Warning against fake tracersFor a full and detailed run-down of how Staffordshire Libraries are dealing with the current Covid issues, please click on this link.

Blythe Bridge Library is currently open Tuesdays and Fridays 9.30am-2.30pm.
For more information please call the library on 01782 485269.

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We’re back!

Do you remember March 23rd? That’s when all Staffordshire’s library centres had to close as part of the government’s strategy to combat coronavirus. It seems an era ago.
Re-opening all those libraries has been a slow process, with the large ‘directly-managed’ libraries, such as Leek, only reopening in late July.

Our team here at Blythe have been on the county-wide task-force organising the return of the smaller ‘community-managed’ libraries, and we CMLs have been gradually doing just that.
And now, as of September 8th, 170 days on from closing, we ourselves are finally re-opening!
It will only be for two days a week and for just five hours each day (Tuesdays & Fridays, 9.30am-2.30pm), but it’s a start.

We’e back!!

For the next couple of weeks, we can offer: ‘click/phone order and collect‘ (where you order books over the internet or phone and then come pick them up); computer time (must be pre-booked); printing/photocopying.
Sadly though, no group activities for now.
Please keep watching our Facebook page to check on exactly what services we will be able to offer and when.

One thing we should mention is that our Phone Buddies service is still operating – as Covid is not going away soon – and we still have many referrals.
Additionally, for those staying at home and struggling with computers, we still offer a Computer Buddy service – but this has be done ‘virtually’. Just get in touch.

As you can guess, a lot of what we can do will depend on how many volunteers come forward. If you can help, even if it’s only behind the scenes, please get in touch.volunteer in librariesAnd, if you do come see us, as we hope you do – please remember to bring your mask…

The novels that made a difference

Lots has been happening online over the last months of course, and one of the most interesting online events was the vote for Staffordshire readers’ choice of the ‘Novel That Shaped My World’.

The eventual top five was a very diverse selection including: To Kill A Mockingbird, the anti-racism novel; 1984, the vision of a horrifying totalitarian world; and The Earthsea Trilogy, the magical fantasy with a spiritual twist. However, the most popular were Pride & Prejudice, a gentle satire on society, and, number one, The Lord Of The Rings, the powerful story of good & evil.
Novels have the power to influence us in how we live our lives, and these were fascinating choices.

A silver (white) lining

Curiously, with the centre and the next-door school being closed, the car park outside the centre was empty nearly all the time.Newly painted car park (2020)So, the authorities took the chance to repaint the white parking lines. And they look pretty good, and now very clear!

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Summer’s challenge

Welcome to our June bulletin.
Even though the library centre itself is still closed, the team is very active; and in this update, there is news of a reading challenge for children, a commitment to home delivery services and a further extension for the Ancestry offer.

However, first, the question a lot of you are asking: when will Blythe Centre re-open? The likelihood is that community-managed libraries like Blythe will get the green light in four to five weeks’ time.  But… all will depend on how best we can protect our volunteers and visitors, so there’s a lot to sort out first. We will let you know how things are looking as time goes by.

In the meantime, the team here presses on. Our support work has been particularly valued; and we’ve been fielding a lot of questions on the hot-line number. One particular field of work has been helping people understand and use the Zoom video-calling programme, and that has been very satisfying as it has brought people together.

Books to your doorstep

It’s clear though that some elderly people, especially those who are shielding, will not feel comfortable in public spaces for some months to come. One reassuring thing for them though is that we, and the whole county library service, are making a direct commitment to deliver books, safely, to your home if you don’t want to come into the library. You need never be short of reading matter!
Just contact us, and we’ll make arrangements.

In order to get those books delivered, we need more volunteers. Can you help for an hour every so often? Please contact us to say if you can help.

The Summer Reading Challenge is back!

Due to the coronavius, the annual reading challenge for children will be conducted online this year. The idea of the scheme, for those who’ve never tried it, is to keep children reading over the summer.Staffs Libraries 2020 Silly SquadThe theme this year is ‘The Silly Squad’.

The process is very easy. First, children (with help from parents/guardians) should enroll at our website, www.sillysquad.org.uk, and create a profile.
Children should then set their own challenge, e.g. the amount of books or comics they will read; and then, each time they finish one, they add it to their online profile with a short review.

The bonus is that there are downloadable activities, games and puzzles, all being added to the website all over this summer.

Research at home

One thing that people in lockdown have really appreciated is the access to the Ancestry website. Ancestry.com holds hundreds of historical documents and is used by people researching their family tree as well as other history.Logo of ancestry library edtionNormally you would have to pay to access Ancestry.com, but during this crisis, a special temporary arrangement had been negotiated, so that any Staffordshire Libraries member could use the site for free through their own home computer.
That arrangement was due to finish at the end of this month, but here’s the good news – the arrangement has been extended… until the end of July.

This is great news for people restricted to the house as, for many of them, Ancestry has become quite the hobby!
To access the site, you need first to visit the Staffs Library User Pages, then log in to your account with your card number and PIN.  Make sure you are in the ‘Account’ section and then scroll to the bottom of the page and follow the link where it says ‘Access Ancestry Online’. Have fun.
Any problems – just give us a call.

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