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Community use Council Library Services and eResources to get through COVID-19

Source: Central Coast Council
Posted: 22 May 2020
Central Coast Council Library Service has seen a significant increase in the use of online resources since providing expanded collections, unique items and new opportunities for the community to continue learning and recreational activities during COVID-19.

Council recognised a need to support the community during this difficult time following the closure of libraries in accordance with Government regulations.

In April, Council saw a 59% increase in loans of eResources including; eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines compared with the same period last year. The use of Storybox Library (online storytimes) increased 219% and Mango Languages (language learning) increased 38% across March/April.

As students shifted to online learning at home, they used 50% of the annual (Jan-Dec) available minutes in Studiosity (online tutoring service) during March/April alone.

Council Director Connected Communities, Julie Vaughan, said continuing essential library services and creating new offerings has enabled the community to keep connected with their interests and studies, and continue to be entertained while spending more time at home.

"The expansion of the eResources and new service offerings has had a positive impact in the community with many messages of thanks and compliments on the services provided being received," Ms Vaughan said.

"Almost as many people are joining the Library daily now, as when it was open and while members are missing coming into our libraries for borrowing, participating in programs and interacting with staff, 1,016 members have still engaged with the library portal, and our Library app has been downloaded 1,116 times.

"Expanded collections featuring new items, book borrowing made easy with a home 'Click and Deliver' service, and the launch of a Council's Coast Connect YouTube channel has enabled parents and children to continue learning and access popular programs normally delivered in-branch, and this has made a world of difference to people coping with COVID-19 restrictions."

In May, Council's Library Service has 11 online events scheduled including author talks, HSC workshops for students and parents, online bookclubs, history presentations and discussion groups which are all being delivered via Skype. Seven online program sessions were run in April covering history discussion groups, story times and tabletop gaming. Additional digital versions of Library programming will be filmed in May for release in the July school holidays.  

Mayor Lisa Matthews said Council's eLibrary provides the community with much needed support and activities while practicing physical distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

"With people spending more time at home, our library's wide range of eResources can help with school work, ideas to keep young children entertained or a way to keep your mind active, there is something there for everyone," Mayor Matthews said.

"I would encourage anyone who works, lives or studies on the Central Coast to join the library and take advantage of these incredible services."

You can access all of this and more through our Library Service app - simply search Central Coast Council to download for free from the App Store or Google Play or visit Central Coast Council elibrary for more information.

Sign up online to become a library member and get instant to these incredible resources for free at join the library   

If you have any questions or need help setting up these services please contact your local library who will be able to step you through the process or you can .

 
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