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Libraries Week 2020 – A love of books is for life, not just for lockdown

Celebrating a love of reading is the theme that Libraries Unlimited is championing throughout this year’s national Libraries Week (5th – 10th October). Libraries across Devon and Torbay will be inviting book lovers to discover and rediscover all that they have to offer. 

“Many people turned to reading with renewed enthusiasm during lockdown,” said Libraries Unlimited CEO Alex Kittow. “Our staff and volunteers pulled out the stops to swap access to books, events, clubs and many of the other facilities we normally offer in our buildings to online and over the phone. We are pleased to say we are continuing to roll out an enhanced virtual offering as it’s been such a success, but we also want to get a clear message out to people that our buildings are open, we have rigorous cleaning regimes in place, and we are welcoming people back. And we hope that those who used lockdown time to dive into books will continue to indulge their new-found love of reading.” 

Libraries Week is an annual national celebration of the country’s much-loved libraries and their work towards building a nation of readers. This year’s theme, the role of public libraries in book culture, celebrates the books that are the heart and origin of libraries, as well as the ways libraries have adapted using new technology to give people access to reading, particularly during lockdown.  

Photography by Roy Riley 2013 0781 6547063 Devon Libraries Copyright Roy Riley [email protected]

In Devon and Torbay, the range of events to celebrate Libraries Week include:  

  • For those still isolating or preferring to continue exploring their reading online, Libraries Unlimited is providing unlimited downloadable copies of The Muse by multi award-winning author Jessie Burton. The book focuses around a mystery involving a painting, spanning 30 years in London and Spain.  ‘Virtual book club’ discussions will take place about the novel on Libraries Unlimited’s Instagram account throughout the week. Jessie Burton won the Waterstones Book of the Year 2014 for her debut novel The Miniaturist. Thousands of customers across the county can download and enjoy her second novel on eBook or eAudiobook.  The book can be downloaded now with no waiting lists or reservations. 
  • 80 copies of Darkness Rising by AA Dhand have been made available throughout most Devon and Torbay libraries. Libraries Unlimited is partnering with local community support organisations to make the book available to people who might otherwise struggle to get to the library.  This crime novel introduces readers to the world of Detective Inspector Harry Virdee in Bradford. The books have been supplied by The Reading Agency.   
  • On Tuesday 6th October at 7pm there will be a special virtual author event when Natasha Randall will be in conversation with Karen Huxtable, Senior Supervisor for Development from Exeter Library about her debut Novel Love Orange which was released on September 3rd by Riverrun books. Readers can join via a Facebook live link 
  • Activities for children such as Bounce & Rhyme and Story Time will be available on Facebook throughout the week.  

Kate MacKenzie, Libraries Unlimited Service Development Manager, said:

“There’s no denying that it’s been a challenging year. But libraries in Devon and Torbay have risen to the challenge. From contacting isolated customers by phone, to delivering books on a tricycle, our staff have gone the extra mile and proved libraries operate at the heart of their communities. Unsurprisingly, downloads of eBooks and eAudiobooks increased by 64% per cent in March alone. We are delighted that people turned to those services, and we are continuing to provide a wide range of new digital books, magazines and newspapers each month, as well as physical books in our buildings. Libraries Unlimited hopes that national Libraries Week will help build a county of readers, one book at a time, whether online or in person, and for free! 

Readers can get involved in the conversation online by using #LibrariesWeek and #247Library. 

Libraries Unlimited is the charity responsible for running Devon and Torbay Libraries. For further information and our full contact details please visit our web page   Find us on Facebook – Libraries Unlimited. And Twitter @LibrariesUnLtd  

Boost News Desk
Boost News Desk
Robert Haylor has 14 years of web development experience, starting out as a web developer whilst still in his university dorm room at Birmingham City University. With a background and a strong interest in website design & development he is skilled in a variety of programming languages including PHP, MySQL, CSS3 and HTML5. As Managing Director of Boost Digital Media, he regularly jumps on to client projects on a daily basis as well as ensuring the company strategy is being implemented and is delivering results.