Councillor Hodgson thanks library staff

Councillor Lucy Hodgson and Nicki Hitchcock stand near books in Bromsgrove Library. Published Wednesday, 8th July 2020

Councillor Lucy Hodgson has visited Bromsgrove Library to thank staff for all their hard work and dedication during lockdown.

60 library staff were re-deployed to Here 2 Help at the start of the pandemic.

Library staff are also continuing their work with the Council’s Here 2 Help service, taking calls to check in and ensuring those who need help and support across the county continue to receive it.

The Council have helped nearly 3,000 people and have received nearly 2,000 offers of support.

The County Council launched the community action campaign called “Here 2 Help” to encourage residents to support their local communities during these testing times.

 Six libraries across Worcestershire are now re-open and the digital library hub, which offers a wide range of online services to library customers has proven extremely popular.

 Over 55,000 e-books, e-audiobooks and e-magazines have been downloaded from the Digital Library Hub since its launch in March.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Communities, said: “Our library staff across the county have worked incredibly hard during lockdown, and they continue to be a key part of our Here 2 Help service, even with libraries beginning to re-open.

I’m really pleased I’ve been able to visit Bromsgrove Library and say thank you for all they have done and continue to do during these testing times. It’s great to see our libraries slowly begin to re-open their doors, and begin to offer some limited services again.

Our digital library offer continues to prove popular, it’s a real success story for us all to be proud of during the pandemic.“

Over 1,000 people have signed up to the digital library service since lockdown began, an increase of over 300% in the same period last year.

Nicki Hitchcock, Library Manager at Bromsgrove Library said: “It’s great to have our library doors re-open, even if a number of our services have now moved online. It’s been wonderful to see some of our customers return, from a safe distance of course.

We’re also continuing our work with the Here 2 Help team, playing our part in making sure that everyone gets the support they need to stay safe during the pandemic.”

The libraries that are now open are: The Hive, Redditch, Kidderminster, Malvern, Bromsgrove and Evesham.

A Reserve and Collect service has been introduced at the re-opened libraries to replace normal browsing and borrowing and a reduced number of library computers are available on a pre-booking basis.

Customers can reserve books and other library items online or by phone and will be contacted when their items are available for collection.

For more information about libraries re-opening, please visit www.worcestershire.gov.uk/libraries

To find out more information about the Here 2 Help service, please visit: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help