Vale of Glamorgan Council expands online library service
Vale of Glamorgan libraries have expanded the online services available during the Coronavirus outbreak following a £100,000 investment, while the Council is also operating a host of digital classes
Though the buildings themselves remain closed, modern technology means residents can still access titles and other library facilities.
Around 250 popular magazines were already available to download, and this number has increased after Disney titles were added to the e-omics section.
Ancestry.com, a subscription service used to trace family history, is also now available online for free meaning Library members can login and conduct research at home.
Over 200 new users have joined Vale libraries in the last month as people look for ways in which to stay occupied at home.
Anyone else wishing to join can do so by visiting www.valeofglamorgan.gov.uk/libraries, while the latest library news is available on social media.
All new and existing library members can download the BorrowBox and ULibrary Digital apps and borrow a wide range of e-books and e-audiobooks for free.
They can also sign up to RBDigital app and download magazines and comics at no charge.
Rhyme and Sign and Bilingual Storytime sessions are available live and on demand via Facebook, while reading group meetings are taking place over the WhatsApp and Zoom platforms.
A new Facebook group called Vale Libraries Lockdown Lit Group offers members of our reading groups and anyone else a forum to discuss books.
All fines have been waived and the loan of all books and DVDs automatically renewed.
And an online Lego Club has been started, with children sending in photographs of their Lego creations, based on a weekly theme.
Meanwhile, the Council’s Adult Community Learning and Learn Welsh teams have been offering digital classes and support online.
A total of 32 Welsh courses for adults have been converted from classroom lessons into this format, allowing people to learn from home.
Tutors are using the online platform Zoom to communicate with learners, who have been invited to join alternative classes if their usual one has become inconvenient because of lockdown.
Dysgu Cymraeg, the National Centre for Learning Welsh, are updating resources on their website daily to enable learners to keep practising at home, helped by Council tutors.
There are informal conversation groups, reading courses and a ten-week taster course for families all due to start in the near future.
Cllr Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Education and Regeneration, said: “It’s important people remain indoors during the coronavirus crisis to help protect the NHS and save lives. I appreciate how difficult it can be not socialising with family and friends so our libraries team have been working hard to make a range of resources available online to keep people occupied.
“There is a broad selection of e-books and e-magazines to choose from as well as classes that can be accessed from the comfort of residents’ own homes.”