Success as Tauranga libraries go digital

Tauranga libraries have gone digital during COVID-19 restrictions. File image/SunLive.

Now, more than ever, library users are reaping the benefits of Tauranga City Libraries electronic resources.

Throughout the lockdown, users have taken the time to broaden their knowledge and engage in research, learning and reading online. During March and April, the library’s two e-lending platforms, Bolinda Borrowbox and Wheelers, recorded an increase of 92 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

With many in our community missing the comfort and familiarity of the library, having the ability to move existing programmes online has allowed for new initiatives that entertain, inform and keep the familiar faces of staff connected with customers, says Tauranga City Council Libraries manager Joanna Thomas.

“The library’s digital only membership has been an invaluable tool for us. It has proven essential during the lockdown period and has allowed readers of all ages access to popular titles through both audio and ebook downloads.”

Online learning has been important as children and adults look for alternative ways to learn from home. While home-schooling has quickly become the new normal for many families, resources such as Pressreader, Tumblebooks and have become increasingly popular for providing interactive educational tools.

With more than just books on offer, the library’s electronic resources have helped many keep updated with current events and learn new skills online. The Programming and Partnerships team has managed to hold 286 events, programmes and presentations across March and April attended online by 31,198 people in the community.

Programmes such as Toddler Time, streamed twice weekly on Facebook, have reached as many as 1,104 families with small children per session, while other programmes like Mauao Drawing Club, children’s book club and the Teen Writer’s Group have been moved online via social media and virtual classrooms.

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