(12 Aug 2020) From Guardian:
When Melbourne’s Yarra Plenty regional libraries first went into lockdown in March, shut the doors and left the remaining unborrowed books on their shelves, staff were sent home with a phone…
So the library staff pulled from their database the phone number of every library member over the age of 70 – a total of 8,000 records.
Then the librarians started calling those members. All of them.
“We called them to say hi, see how they were doing, and then see if there was anything they needed help with, such as access to services, counselling support, tech help, that kind of thing. We would then refer them to a service that would help them,” said Dempster.
“What we’ve found mostly is that people are really up for the chat and love getting that call from the librarian. Some calls go for five minutes and some go for half an hour or more.”
Yarra Plenty’s “caring calls” are just one of the ways that libraries around the state have been servicing community needs since the onset of Covid-19 shutdowns.
Read more on how other public libraries in Australia are doing to support the community throughout the pandemic here.