Library given state recognition for keeping reading alive
LIBRARIES, like many other businesses, were forced to shut their doors in late March due to COVID-19, and had to take up new strategies to stay in touch with customers.
The method the Lockyer Valley’s libraries employed to keep in touch with locals has earned them praise from the State Library of Queensland.
The weekly Storytime program held at the Gatton and Laidley libraries was moved to an online platform, broadcast live on Facebook.
“COVID-19 has changed life as we know it, but our staff really wanted to find a way to still offer our services to the residents of the Lockyer Valley,” Coordinator Libraries and Galleries Nicole Kilah said.
“The 17 online Storytime sessions since closure have been viewed almost 8000 times on Facebook which has not only allowed us to maintain the connections we have established with our existing customers, but also establish new connections between library staff and children.”
Videos remain online to be viewed after the live session has ended, and she said many people had watched them that way as well.
The program aims to support language development in children, as part of the State Government’s First 5 Forever Program.
The success of the online sessions has drawn significant attention well beyond the Lockyer Valley, with Nicole speaking about the libraries’ activities on ABC Radio this week.
Also quick to recognise the importance of the Storytime program was the State Library of Queensland, who encouraged the Lockyer Valley Libraries to help other libraries adjust to the lockdown.
“Library staff were asked to share with other libraries who hadn’t moved to the online environment how a small library service could connect with their community,” Nicole said.
“Our Libraries are places that mean so much to residents – be it a place of refuge, a place of connection or a place of company and friendship and we set to work early to ensure we could still offer as many services as possible, albeit in a different way.”
Storytime is held each Tuesday at 10am or Friday at 9.30am.
For further information, contact Gatton Library on 5466 3434 or Laidley Library on 5462 0351.
The sessions can be viewed on the Lockyer Valley Libraries Facebook page.