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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Library service making full use of technology

Young Lily watches Pirate Anne during a recent online Storytime.

Photograph: Young Lily watches Pirate Anne during a recent online Storytime.

3 April 2020

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and decisions made by the National Cabinet, the Bega Valley Shire Library made the sad decision to temporarily close the doors on its physical spaces around the Shire earlier this week.

The library ran a ‘click and collect’ service for several days to keep people stocked up with reading and study material for as long as possible, however due to the social isolation measures being implemented to reduce the spread of the virus this became no longer possible.

Council’s Library Coordinator, Megan Jordan-Jones, said it has certainly been a challenging time for staff and library users as we adjust what we can offer and find different ways of interacting with each other, but we are looking to the many opportunities technology offers to ensure our service levels remain high.

“We are missing seeing everyone face to face, but we are here to assist people to access our online library services and collections which are available 24/7 from anywhere with an internet connection,” Ms Jordan-Jones said.

“Excitingly we are in the final stages of adding a ‘live chat’ function to our website that will enable you to hook up directly with a librarian to ask questions, get help with eBooks, eAudio and eMagazines and technology, and seek guidance on authors.

“Basically, everything we used to help you with face-to-face we will be attempting to do remotely through this platform between 9.00am and 5.00pm weekdays.

“The website (https://library.begavalley.nsw.gov.au) is also your go to place for our suite of eResources and links to free online activities that everyone can keep busy with at home, including links to virtual tours, educational resources and fun things to do for people of all ages.

“Additionally, we have responded quickly to expand our eBook and eAudio collection through the BorrowBox platform and by offering a new collection called indyreads, a collection of independent Australian and international titles, classic literature and modern award-winning titles for adults and children,” Ms Jordan-Jones said.

Those with little ones are strongly encouraged to join the lovely Willow, Anne, Linda or Cat at one of our online Storytimes, which are made available every Tuesday and Thursday morning on the library’s Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/begavalleyshirelibrary) and website.

Storytime provides pre-schoolers with an engaging mix of stories, song and craft designed to introduce the rhythms of language and give little hands lots of fine motor skills practice.

The Friday morning online Rhymetime sessions are another option, featuring music, movement and rhymes aimed at babies and toddlers.

Staff are also investigating other programs, for children and adults, that can be adapted to the online environment, including activities for the school holidays.

As we all adjust to the current situation there have been a number of members asking about their login and password for the online resources. It’s straight forward – login with your library card number and your password is your date of birth entered ddmmyyyy.

If you’re not a member, don’t worry, just give us a ring on 6499 2127 or email library@begavalley.nsw.gov.au and we’ll join you up remotely.

END

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