Bundaberg Regional Libraries is offering residents the option to sign up for online membership to take advantage of the many eServices on offer.
Bundaberg Library Services Manager Peta Browne said due to the COVID-19 related temporary closure to the region's libraries, an online membership option had now been established.
“We have enabled the ‘join online' option so that people may still have access to reading, listening, recreational and educational material in digital formats,” she said.
“In these times, access to such material helps people to reduce boredom, remain engaged, and keep up with learning.
“In turn this all helps to maintain people’s mental health by reducing anxiety and lowering stress.”
Peta said while physical library books were not able to be borrowed during the libraries closure, it was hoped the online resources would help keep people occupied.
“Online membership enables access to the libraries’ eServices such as eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMovies, eMusic, eMagazines and more,” she said.
High loan numbers at libraries
Prior to closing Council’s libraries on 25 March, members of the public flocked to their local library to take advantage of stocking up on reading material and other loan items.
Bundaberg Library's loan numbers rose from 1751 on 12 February to 7520 on 25 March- an increase of 329%.
Childers Library loans increased 666%, Gin Gin Library a massive 956% and Woodgate Library 190%.
“Panic borrowing was in full force that day and compared to loan statistics on a day prior to COVID-19, the numbers jumped dramatically,” Peta said.
“We allowed the maximum number of loan items to increase from 20 to 40 which also had an impact on data.
“Our library staff did a fantastic job handling the rush, settling customers’ anxiety, and ensuring as many people as possible had the resources they needed to stave off boredom and boost mental health.”
While libraries are now closed to the public, Peta said staff were now kept busy behind the scenes.
“We are still answering patron enquiries by phone, email and social media,” she said.
“We are also catching up on numerous rainy day tasks including cleaning/tidying, weeding the collection, stocktaking, updating the catalogue and preparing activities and programs for reopening.”
As a reminder for those who have items currently on loan, all items have been extended to 30 June, with further automatic extensions available should the need arise.
There is no need for items to be returned while libraries are closed and COVID-19 measures are in place.
Library online services, including digital books, audiobooks, magazines, movies and music are available 24/7.
If you are not already a member of your library you can now join online to access these digital resources by signing up here.
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