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Coronavirus: Online library services stepped up in Harrogate

Coronavirus: Online library services stepped up in Harrogate

Published by Local Democracy Reporter Jacob Webster at 2:55pm 24th March 2020.

Online library services in Harrogate have been boosted to keep readers busy during the coronavirus lockdown enforced by the government.

  • More reading sources are being made available online by North Yorkshire County Council.  
  • The council has closed all libraries in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
  • The council says it's planning for an increased demand in e-books and e-audio.

North Yorkshire County Council is making more e-books, audio books, newspapers, magazines and comics available online – and is also extending the loan period for all books, DVDs and CDs already on loan or renewed to three months.

It comes after the council was forced to close all of its libraries in response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Coun Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said:

“While the Government has not specifically cited libraries in its briefings, in light of the recent escalation of the Covid-19 situation it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that library buildings should close to protect communities, staff and volunteers from infection.

“We understand that some residents rely on their library as a place to get information and support. We are working to ensure that while the libraries remain closed everyone can access the information and support they need.”

People are now only allowed out of their homes to buy essential supplies, to exercise once a day, for medical visits or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person, or to travel to and from work.

Coun White added:

“People who are at home and can get online can make use of our extensive digital service. Thousands of e-books, e-audio books, newspapers, magazines, comics, reference works and educational resources are available, and we’re making it easy for people to access them, if they don’t already do so, and to join the library if they are not yet members.

“We anticipate increased demand for e-books and e-audio, so have placed an order to make more copies available.”