From this weekend (Saturday, 3 Oct), Leicestershire residents will no longer have to book an appointment slot to visit the county’s main libraries as a queuing system is introduced.
However, attendance numbers in our main libraries will continue to be restricted to ensure social distancing procedures are followed. Other safety measures also remain in place to help visitors and staff feel comfortable and safe to return.
The change comes into effect ahead of National Libraries Week (5-10 October), which this year focuses on how libraries have engaged communities through reading, particularly during lockdown.
While libraries remained closed, library staff in Leicestershire used social media to signpost followers to useful information and activities, as well as providing online coding sessions, a virtual book club and Wriggly Readers at Home, to help parents to keep their little ones entertained.
Our digital library also experienced a surge of sign-ups and downloads and more than 4,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks were added, including many new titles for children.
Throughout lockdown, we saw an increase in digital loans for children’s books and, with many youngsters missing out on school for several months, reading at home was especially important.
“Leicestershire libraries continue to encourage parents to build on this increase, with new children’s titles regularly being added. The new queuing system also makes it easier for families to visit their local library during Libraries Week and take advantage of the new books starting to arrive."Person:Councillor Richard Blunt, county council cabinet member for libraries
A recent survey from The Reading Agency showed that 89 per cent of children aged seven to 11 were reading for pleasure during lockdown. This was reflected in Leicestershire with more than 1,700 children taking part in this year’s online Summer Reading Challenge, one of the highest participation levels in the East Midlands.
For more information about what to expect when visiting the library, visit: www.leicestershire.gov.uk/leisure-and-community/libraries