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Increased use for High Life Highland online library resources in Inverness and the rest of the Highlands during coronavirus pandemic

By Ian Duncan

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Inverness public library.
Inverness public library.

High Life Highland (HLH) libraries have been given top marks as people turn to the charity’s online resources during lockdown.

While library buildings are closed people can still access a rage of materials and activities online including Bookbug sessions, e-books, audio books and newspapers.

Bookbug is a national programme for sharing stories, songs and rhymes for young people, with the number of views of sessions rising to 6500 last month from just under 2000 in March.

Pressreader, the online newspaper service, has more than doubled the number of views in April in comparison with the same month last year – an increase of 30,000 views.

The number of uses of e-books through the HLH library service has also doubled compared to last year.

One parent, Davina Seaton, said: “As you can imagine this has been a very difficult time trying to provide home school and nursery for a three-year-old and a five-year-old who are at different stages of learning.

"The Bookbug sessions online help to bridge that gap for a short time and provide relief and enjoyment for all of us in our household, as we try to watch them as a family.

"Both my children benefit as they are learning whilst having fun and the burden of teaching is lifted from myself. Thank you for helping to bring these vital services to the Highlands during this difficult, stressful and often scary time.”

Julie Corcoran, principal libraries manager for High Life Highland, said: “It's great to hear that so many people are using and benefitting from our online library services at the moment.

"By using online channels, we’ve been able to keep many of our services available for people in Highland communities during this unprecedented period. We’ll keep adapting the range of resources available, as new options become available.”

For details of all activities, with links to the resources, visit here.

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