Regional libraries in the Yarra, in Victoria, have been ringing every member over the age of 70 – all 8,000 of them!
According to the staff, the library is a hub for the community and with the closure due to lockdown, it separated many people, especially the elderly.
They rang to say hi, ask if they needed anything…and not just books. If they needed services, counselling, tech help the staff referred them to a service that would be able to help them.
But most of all, people just wanted a chat, with calls lasting between 5 and 30 minutes or more.
Other libraries around the country have done other wonderful things. One sent out books with the Meals on Wheels service. Another delivered guitars to households. One library hired a social worker to help identify patrons who may have been using the library because of homelessness or domestic abuse.
I think this is as much a reflection of the community spirit that reading generates as anything.
Have your libraries been doing anything like this?