Libraries boost wellbeing and reduce loneliness during lockdown

library activities
Mary Howell, library assistant, with Bookstart Bear

DORSET Council’s library teams have been keeping adults and children entertained during lockdown with a packed programme of online activities.

With libraries closed, reading groups, rhyme times and craft sessions have been improving wellbeing and bringing people together, virtually.

Councillor Tony Alford, Customer, Community and Regulatory Services portfolio holder, said: “It’s been a great way for everyone to stay connected, learn something new and have fun, which are all good things for mental health.

“We wanted to be sure people could still access our services, even though they can’t physically come into our buildings. Like many other people, the teams had to quickly adjust to a new way of working. They all rose to the challenge immediately and have been wonderfully creative.”

Membership take-up has also increased since lockdown.

Councillor Alford added:  “Although Dorset libraries had a good online membership, we’ve gained a lot more members since lockdown started. There has been a 48% increase in people joining Dorset’s online library service, with almost 27,000 e-books, e-audio and e-zines accessed.”

The teams from libraries all over Dorset have proved a real hit. Whether it’s crafting in their kitchen, drawing at the dining table, chats about books or singing in the garden, the Dorset Council employees have pulled out all the stops to make sure there’s something for everyone.

Activities are taking place five days a week. Find out what’s on and how to join by visiting the Dorset Council library web pages at or follow Dorset Libraries on Facebook.

Woodmead Halls

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