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Hampshire libraries increasing digital resources to keep communities reading during COVID-19 pandemic

Hampshire Library Service is encouraging as many people as possible to access its wide range of digital content during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Recreation and Heritage, Councillor Seán Woodward, said:

We have responded rapidly to increasing demand for our existing online resources so that people can now access even more content through their mobile phone, tablet and computer.

We have a great variety of recreation and learning resources for people of all ages to access on the go, such as e-newspapers and e-magazines. We are also releasing more titles on Borrowbox – the free app which has hundreds of audiobooks and e-books for children and adults.

These are good ways in which people’s health and well-being can be supported for free, especially those who are in self isolation at home.

We hope that people will make good use of these resources, particularly when we are having to temporarily suspended all groups, clubs, activities, events and learning in libraries. This will take immediate effect for the next 12 weeks.

We appreciate the outbreak is fast moving. Our staff are working hard to keep branches open for book borrowing and IT access, albeit with changes to opening hours due to staff availability. There may also be localised closures of smaller branches for the same reason, but we will do our best to ensure our larger branches can remain open for as long as possible.

Fees for items which are overdue will be frozen over the next three months. Meanwhile, the maximum of loans has been increased significantly, allowing people to borrow books for their friends and neighbours if they wish.

Discover the full range of online activities from Hampshire libraries.

Customers are advised to check the Hampshire libraries website at www.hants.gov.uk/library and the service’s Twitter and Facebook accounts for up-to-date information on opening times, and closures.

If you have symptoms known to be associated with the virus e.g. fever, cough, breathlessness, we ask politely that you do not visit and contact the NHS online www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ for further advice and instruction.

For those who have booked events in this time period, you will be contacted directly to make alternative arrangements in due course.

For more information, please go to: www.hants.gov.uk/coronavirus


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