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Book lovers flock to re-opened libraries

SOMERSET libraries have had a huge number of people through the door since re-opening, with 21,000 books issued in their first week.

Libraries opened last month, with Covid-secure measures in place, for anyone to browse and borrow from an array of old and brand-new books.

The ‘Somerset Libraries Presents’ programme of activities and events has also kicked off in style with a virtual, live ‘meet the author’ session on Zoom.

Claire Fuller, a novelist shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, talked about her latest book ‘Unsettled Ground’, answering questions from a virtual audience who signed up for the free event.

A county council spokesperson said: “Feedback has been enthusiastically positive, with many people asking when more similar events will be on offer. The good news is that more author talks and a host of other events and activities are planned for this summer and beyond – showing that Somerset Libraries are definitely ‘back in business’ as they once again offer the diverse range of events as coronavirus restrictions are gradually eased.

“The ever-popular Rhyme Times and Story Times for babies and toddlers are being piloted in selected libraries and it is hoped that these will soon be up-and-running again across the county.

“Where possible, outdoor story times are also being planned to ensure that more parents and carers will be able to have fun with the little ones, as staff present interactive rhymes and great stories aimed at younger minds.

“The libraries are also doing its bit to help people get back to work – Jobseekers and people wanting to develop new skills for employment can borrow an internet-ready tablet which is pre-loaded with a range of useful links, information and support.

“They can keep the device for up to six weeks and make use of it to search for jobs, write applications and get top tips for virtual interviews.

“There is also now available a much wider selection of thousands of e-magazines and e-newspapers to download – all for free with a library membership.

“Joining the library online has been made quick and easy – visit: www.somersetlibraries.co.uk for more information on joining, for other useful updates on opening times and our wide range of services.

“To keep up to date with all the exciting events and activities being planned, people can sign up to receive a bi-monthly e-newsletter by popping in to the local library or by visiting www.somersetlibraries.co.uk.

“You can also get all the latest news via Facebook (Somerset Libraries UK), or search for Somerset Libraries on Twitter or Instagram.”

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