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.The 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 Ancestry.com holds hundreds of historical documents and is used by people researching their family tree as well as other history.Normally you would have to pay to access Ancestry.com, but during this crisis, a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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