DIGITAL: Nadine Donadelli and Ros Hearn conduct a virtual story-time on Facebook, with residents unable to come in due to COVID-19 closures. Picture: Whitsunday Regional Council.
DIGITAL: Nadine Donadelli and Ros Hearn conduct a virtual story-time on Facebook, with residents unable to come in due to COVID-19 closures. Picture: Whitsunday Regional Council.

Whitsunday libraries ‘innovating’ in the wake of COVID-19

THEIR physical doors may be closed but libraries across the Whitsundays are finding unique and innovative ways to connect with the community.

Libraries across the Whitsundays were forced to shut as part of a Federal Government directive last week to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across the country.

Proserpine Library Assistant Nadine Donadelli said they had been waiting for the closure for weeks, so wasn't surprised when the announcement was made.

"We knew the closure was imminent so we were encouraging people to take out the maximum amount of books, as we weren't sure when they might be able to come back," she said.

"We're always looking at ways to be innovative - I think all libraries are these days - so the good thing is we already had a lot of services for people to access remotely."

The library has already recorded a series of story-time videos which have been shared on the Whitsunday Regional Council Facebook page, with more planned in the future.

The library is hoping to be able to offer a pick-up service. Photo: Zizi Averill
The library is hoping to be able to offer a pick-up service. Photo: Zizi Averill

The story-time videos have been "quick, spontaneous but warm and funny", with a goal of showing parents they could perform similar at home without any specific tools.

Ms Donadelli said the library had a high number of e-resources which were easily accessible through their website, and other platforms, meaning avid-readers could get their fix and never leave isolation.

"We just restocked our digital library catalogue on Borrowbox and RB Digital, and we have Canopy for films and Pressreader for magazines," she said.

"They're all really easy and can be signed up online with just your library card - if you have issues you can always contact one of our branches and they will help walk you through it. .

"People can also access Ancestry remotely now if they're interested in learning more about their family history while in isolation."

There are also plans in place to reinstate a book delivery service for vulnerable people in the community who may not have access to a computer or the internet.

"Here at the Proserpine branch we do a lot of deliveries to the nursing homes and the aged around the region, but we had to close that down when everything started with COVID-19," Ms Donadelli said.

"Going forward we want to re-open that services, and also open it up to some more people who may be vulnerable and self-isolating.

"We'll also hopefully be able to look at a remote pick-up service. Some libraries have been doing a 'mystery five' where the librarian picks out five books for someone to read and they leave it for pick-up.

"We also have a box of deleted items out the front of the Proserpine branch, so if someone has come in for shopping, they could swing past and grab a book and head off quickly."

For help regarding any library services or to find out more about your library membership contact your local branch by phoning;

-Bowen 4761 3670

-Cannonvale 4846 9400

-Collinsville 4785 5366

-Proserpine 4945 0275


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