Libraries Update

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Libraries Update – 16 June 2020

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The return of book returns!

Selection of booksHave you got library books piling up at home? We have good news for you… At the following exclusive times you will be able to return any borrowed items (be it books, audiobooks or even School Project Loan boxes, if you’re a teacher) to the door of your local West Sussex library*:

  • Saturday 20 June, 10.00am – 12.00pm
  • Tuesday 23 June, 2.00pm – 4.00pm
  • Thursday 25 June 10.00am – 12.00pm

Don’t worry if you can’t make any of these slots – there will continue to be no charges on any items that have not been returned during this time. It also doesn’t matter if your books were borrowed from a different library to the one you return them to, or if someone else drops them off on your behalf.

If you have items that you’re keen to return outside of the times listed, we have large letter boxes available at Billingshurst, Bognor Regis, Crawley, East Grinstead, Goring, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Petworth, Southwick, Steyning and Witterings.

*Please note Midhurst Library will not be able to accept returns on Saturday 20 June.

…but when are libraries actually reopening?

Person putting books into a box outside the libraryCurrent Government restrictions mean that our libraries will not be open before 4 July.

However, reopening libraries safely, assuming social distancing and infection control is still in place, will be a complex process. It is unlikely that all libraries will be fully open to customers immediately following 4 July, but we are working continuously to expand our online offer alongside planning a phased reintroduction of library services.

We’ll be sure to keep you informed throughout the process and we very much look forward to the day when we can welcome you into our libraries again. If you have any queries about this, please don’t hesitate to email us.

Let’s celebrate Sussex Day

Past Pictures excerptToday is Sussex Day (Tuesday 16 June), so why not explore the story of our county? There are thousands of West Sussex Past Pictures available to browse right now, from the 1640s to the 21st century!

This vast collection includes photos of rural life, downland views, seaside scenes of fishermen and bathing machines, life during both world wars and the changing face of the high street in our local towns and villages.

Prefer to learn about Sussex through the written word? Just head to the homepage of the RBdigital app or website and scroll down until you find our special Celebrate Sussex eBook list. From here you can download or reserve (‘hold’) individual titles, or add them to your wishlist.

Can you haiflu?

Haiflu logo#haiflu is an online project calling on people to share their experiences of Lockdown in the form of haiku and photographs. These are then turned into powerful short films.

The organisers of National Poetry Day have invited libraries to get involved! There will be a special film produced on Sunday 21 June using a range of #haiflu that have come from libraries. If you would like to contribute, simply email us a recent landscape photograph (without people in it) and/or your own haiku (of 5, 7, 5 syllables), along with your name and local library.

We’ll be posting some of your work on our social media (Twitter and Facebook) next week, and we hope at least one entry from West Sussex may appear in the national film!

Summer Reading Challenge 2020

Bamboozle the panda from the Silly SquadHave you joined Silly Squad yet? The Summer Reading Challenge has been launched online this year so that everyone can get started early. Find out more, including how to sign up and take part.

Families can choose to read anything they like as part of the challenge, including from our range of eBooks for children. From the homepage of the RBdigital app or website, scroll down until you find the Children’s eBooks carousel – then start browsing and downloading! If you prefer to listen to your stories, we have lots of eAudiobooks to enjoy as well. Titles from the eLibrary are free to download – all you need is your library card.

So – what will your Silly Squad challenge be? How many books can you read? Will it be one… or 99?!

Helping you with basic digital needs

Staring at a tabletHave you got a neighbour or relative who is stumped by Skype? Exhausted by emails? Obstructed by online shopping?

Perhaps they haven’t got around to reading or listening to books from our free eLibrary yet because they aren’t confident in setting up the app on their smartphone, tablet or computer?

Please let them know they can call our special Remote Digital Support helpline on 0330 222 3455, Monday – Friday 10.00am – 4.00pm, to be paired up with a library volunteer who will offer support for a basic digital need.

Whatever the issue, you can also email us. Our brilliant Digital Volunteers are ready and waiting to help you – or someone you know!

West Sussex Unwrapped

Kids on a crowded beachJoin West Sussex Record Office and Screen Archive South East in an exciting new venture, West Sussex Unwrapped, which explores history and heritage across the county.

Launching today to mark Sussex Day, there will be a weekly series of films, photographs, blogs, posters, folk songs, postcards and rare documents to discover over the next 10 weeks. A new episode will be available every Tuesday from 12.00pm beginning today, with the final one on 18 August.

The first video focuses on an exciting day trip to Littlehampton – where children and grown-ups from a Sunday School in Three Bridges hit the beach in woollen swimwear, licking ice creams with soggy wafers and being enchanted by the delights of Punch and Judy!

Follow the fun every week on these channels:

Keep in touch with us

Looking at a tablet back viewYour local library may be closed temporarily, but we’re all still here for you.

As well as these newsletters, we’re sharing useful resources and updates throughout the week on our social media pages:

Twitter: @WSCCLibraries and Facebook: WestSussexLibraries

Have you got any questions or suggestions? You can also contact us by email.