You could be forgiven for thinking that the library service does not have much to offer you from the comfort of your own sofa – but you would be surprised.
Bristol Libraries has a wide variety of services online for people to access at home. For a start there are eBooks which you can borrow from CloudLibrary and Overdrive, and there is also access to eAudio books through BorrowBox.
Members can also read 1000s of daily newspapers from around the world, and popular eMagazines, including; New Scientist, Gardeners World, Gracia and the Radio Times. In the last few days eComics have also become available.
In addition the library team are running a number of online events from children’s story time and quizzes, through to a virtual Lego club and a new podcast.
Deputy Mayor Councillor Asher Craig, Cabinet Member with responsibility for libraries, said: “As part of our commitment to the future of libraries, we have been working hard to modernise the service for some time.
“This has meant that the library team were in a great position to offer people a wide variety of events and materials to help keep you entertained while you stay at home.
“Readers will be amazed by the range of books and magazines on offer, while families will be able to come together for story time and themed quizzes.
“The closure of our library buildings has widened the digital divide, but libraries will play a central role in our communities over the coming months helping to support economic recovery for impacted businesses and workers.
“I would like to thank you all for following the guidelines and staying at home, and encourage everyone to take a look at what the library service has to offer.”
The service has also made Ancestry available from home for the first time so you can research your family tree.
It’s really easy for people to join the library online. For information on joining and all the great services you can access at home please visit https://www.bristol.gov.uk/libraries-archives or search Bristol Libraries online.
Online Children’s Activities
- Online Story Time – every Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 2pm. Join us for two picture book stories read by library staff. These story time sessions are perfect for little ones and their families, and are live streamed from the Bristol Library Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BristolLibraries/
- Baby Bounce and Rhyme – every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 11am. These are sing-a-long sessions with your favourite nursery rhymes and songs to join in with at home. Also includes a simple craft idea to make at home. These are also live streamed from the Facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/BristolLibraries/
- Virtual Lego Club – a new online Lego club. A different weekly challenge is posted on the Facebook page on Mondays at 11am. Children (and adults!) are encouraged to build a Lego model and take a photo of it to post on Facebook. The theme for the first week is dinosaurs. https://www.facebook.com/BristolLibraries/
- Children’s Book Quizzes – a short quiz on different children’s books each week, such as Roald Dahl and Harry Potter. These quizzes are posted on the Facebook page every Tuesday at 10am (and the answers posted at 4pm same day). https://www.facebook.com/BristolLibraries/
Online Book Groups - https://www.facebook.com/pg/BristolLibraries/groups
- Audiobook Club – Bristol Library’s first ever online book club. Everybody is welcome to join, whether you’re a regular book club attendee or if you’ve never been part of a book club before. Multiple copies of the Audiobook Club title have been made available through Borrowbox, the library’s app for audiobooks, and members are able to download and listen to the book for free, and will be able to take part in an online discussion led by library staff. The title we’re currently listening to is Matt Haig’s How to Stop Time.
- Crime Fiction Reading Group – Facebook group for informal discussion. Different weekly themes (e.g. classic crime and domestic noir have been popular topics so far).
- Poetry Club – Members are encouraged to write their own poems to share with the group, or post videos of themselves reading their own poetry aloud. The theme for the first week is ‘Hope’ and the discussion will be led by library staff.
- Shelf Life is a new podcast for Bristol Libraries. It is presented by library staff and includes library news and updates, book recommendations and interviews with local and national partner organisations. In our first episode, we speak to Debbie Hicks, founder member of The Reading Agency. Listen to the first episode here: https://soundcloud.com/user-248096612/1-welcome-to-shelf-life-our-interview-with-the-reading-agency?fbclid=IwAR0zaxJRASfy1hEGvPRGuLDp3BCmUmpJP0Ogjn1MaT7Ln4sxcCj0Ze_1aFI
- The service is holding its first ever Lunchtime Lecture online on Thursday 30th April at 12.30. In partnership with Wessex Archaeology, members of the public will have the opportunity to attend a webinar with guest speaker marine archaeologist Graham Scott, who will be talking about his work recovering WWII aircraft wrecks. To attend this virtual event, please register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/9188152886696277772