Ipswich library staff record audiobook for 102 year old member during lockdown

  • Video report by ITV News Anglia's Victoria Lampard

Staff at Ipswich library have tracked down a novel from the 1920s and are turning it into an audiobook for one of their members who wanted to read it as a child.

102 year old Doris Bugg’s father had recommended ‘Portrait of Clare’ by Francis Brett Young to her more than 90 years ago.

It was during a phone conversation with library and information advisor Angela Oakey-Jones that the story came to light.

Angela was phoning members to see if they needed any help during lockdown, when Doris mentioned the title of a novel about a lady called Clare and her marriages.

Staff have gone the extra mile to offer help during the pandemic. Credit: ITV Anglia

Staff decided to buy a copy of the 1927 book online and record all 873 pages onto CD.

“I rang her back to tell her we’d managed to get hold of a copy of the book and that members of staff were recording it and she was almost speechless for a moment", Angela said.

"She was really touched by it."

Mrs Bugg has fond memories of her father borrowing books from Ipswich library for her family when she was young.

She developed a love of reading and still is an active member, although prior to lockdown she had someone collect audiobooks for her.

Words just won’t describe what it’s done. I said right from the word go how kind it was of you all. He was wonderful my dad was. That was the first book he ever recommended.

Doris Bugg, Library member
'Portrait of Clare' book. Credit: ITV Anglia

The initial call to Doris Bugg was made as part of Suffolk libraries’ lifeline service.

It has now reached out to more than 6000 people, pointing them in the right direction for advice while the library remains closed.

“Those that have had the phone calls have been really appreciative of them and there’s some lovely phone relationships building up across the county from people who are shielding or those who perhaps don’t have much family contact", Charmain Osborne, Library manager, said.