Library staff offering “friendly” service
May 14, 2020
Northumberland library customers who have been missing their regular visit to their local branch have received a welcome call from staff to check on them.
The county’s library service is running a “befriending” service for its regular, elderly customers, who are currently shielding during the Covid19 outbreak, to ensure residents don’t become isolated and lonely.
The service identified 3,800 customers of 70yrs+ who have been regular visitors to a library this year.
Staff will call them all at least once to check how they are getting on and if there is anything they can help them with, such as offering them support on accessing digital resources if they have a device.
They are also signposting residents to other services which can help. They will chat to them about books they have been reading – and suggest others they might like. For those who are particularly isolated staff will make more frequent calls for a friendly chat.
The service is also seeking to offer limited doorstep deliveries of books to some of its most isolated customers.
Cllr Cath Homer, cabinet member for library services at the council, said: “We know for many people that their local library is part of their everyday social life. For many it is often the only time in their day they have more than a transactional conversation.
“We wanted to help those customers who are missing having that regular conversation over a shared love of books.
“The response from everyone we have contacted so far has been heartwarming with many thanking staff for going the extra mile to make sure they are coping. We have managed to support a number of customers to get online, including two blind customers who are now able to enjoy e-Audiobooks from the comfort of their own home.”
The library service offers hundreds of e-Books, e-Audiobooks and e-Magazines online. At the moment you can also research your family history for free with Ancestry at home and Find my Past.
To access these and the Library’s other online services, all you have to do is sign up as a library member for free.
Go to www.mylibrary.co.uk for more information.
If you are in need of help you can also contact the Northumberland Communities Together team on (01670) 620015 between 9am to 6pm, seven days a week or email: northumberlandcommunitiestoget