Crucial support still offered by Swansea library services

Libraries across Swansea are aiming to deliver as much assistance as possible to local people as Wales remains at Alert Level 4.

With this new year being different to any other due to Covid-19, library staff are eager to help residents – including schoolchildren and parents – right across the city.

Staff have robust safety measures in place and offer thousands of books for loan. They can be particularly useful to parents who are home schooling young children and to older pupils who are working their way up to qualifications.

Although Swansea Council’s libraries remain physically closed to the public due to restrictions, they have re-started click and collect service in line with guidelines. All returned books are quarantined for 72 hours before being loaned out again. Appointments must be made before attending.

The libraries have a broad range of items – including eBooks, audiobooks and eMagazines – that can be enjoyed online. Family history services remain accessible online.

Staff continue to post suggested reading materials on the service’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter channels.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “The pandemic means that many individuals and families face unique challenges – and our libraries are here to help.

“Although not open for regular visits, they remain a source of inspiration, education, fun and assistance to people across the city.

“The services they offer are local and online, safe and of enormous help, especially to those facing specific challenges at this time. Our libraries are here for Swansea.

“Also, they don’t break the bank – book loans are free.

“Residents are encouraged to stay local and not to travel or make non-essential journeys but it’s understood that books can help in education and with matters such as well-being.”

Residents can make appointments to collect reserved books – or a bag of staff-selected books – from their local library in their local community. Libraries across Swansea provide click and collect, a service that re-started on January 11.

Library readers can reserve books online as usual on the library online catalogue or make a request for a bag of books using an online form at www.swansea.gov.uk/libraries. They can also phone their local library.

For those in need home delivery may be possible subject to availability.

Swansea’s libraries can be followed on social media, and this month’s campaigns include Do Something Different – Facebook @swansealibraries, Twitter @libraryline, Instagram @swansea_libraries.

The libraries are run in line with government restrictions.

Borrowers who have books to return can do so at their local library. For those who want to keep them for longer, librarians will continue to renew them automatically.

Lead image: Swansea Council libraries officer Ellen Duncan prepares a bag of books. City residents can now make appointments to collect reserved books or a bag of staff-selected books from the local library in their local community. Each book has been handled in line with government guidelines and safe COVID practices. (Swansea Council)

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