Cornwall's libraries thriving as Covid lockdown sparks appetite for books

Libraries are re-opening across the West Country. Credit: ITV News

Libraries across the West Country are beginning to re-open - and they are proving more popular than ever before.

Figures show that despite buildings being closed for a lengthy period during lockdown, 4,000 new members signed up to Cornwall's library service over the summer.

Torpoint Library is among those which are welcoming visitors again. Credit: ITV News

Linda Moffatt from Cornwall Council said: "Libraries are very much about face-to-face interaction with customers, so it was a really difficult time for us to understand how we could continue to help people while we were not open."

Initially things moved online - rhyme times, Lego clubs and even virtual book reviews could be accessed on the web - and click and collect system also proved popular. Then finally the buildings began to fully re-open.

Cornwall Council's library service believes people still have an appetite for books. Credit: ITV News

Christine Goodman, Mayor of Torpoint, said: "The town council has made every effort to give our community the confidence to come into the library, every measure has been taken to safeguard everyone. People need that connection, they need to meet. It's human nature."

Councillor Edwina Hannaford added: "People really do care. There is an emotional attachment to libraries."

Library customers are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines. Credit: ITV News

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