North Yorkshire prepares to celebrate Libraries Week

5 October 2020

Book lovers across North Yorkshire are invited to take part in a variety of events and activities to celebrate Libraries Week (October 5 to 10).

This builds on the huge efforts during the pandemic of the County Council’s library service and the many volunteers supporting community-run libraries to keep in touch with customers virtually during lockdown and to reopen safely as restrictions eased.

Around 3,000 people joined the library service over the lockdown period and there was a big increase in the number of e-books and e-audio books borrowed.

Staff and volunteers put a lot of effort into producing online story times, craft sessions and other digital content when libraries were closed, resulting in a big increase in the number of people following their library on Facebook. Many people continue to enjoy the online content, with story times being particularly popular.

County Councillor Greg White, Executive Member for Libraries, said:

Libraries Week is an opportunity to celebrate our libraries and the many volunteers who keep them running and to say thank you to our valued customers, who we are now delighted to be welcoming back.

During Libraries Week, the service is hosting story times and rhyme times for young readers in library branches. These will also be available on its Facebook pages.

The service has made changes to the layout of libraries and measures are in place to ensure that it is safe for people to return. Numbers allowed into buildings at any one time have been restricted to ensure that social distancing can be maintained and facemasks must be worn.

Customers are being asked to limit their visit to 20 minutes so that everyone has a chance to browse during what are still limited opening hours.

In partnership with The Reading Agency, a selection of popular authors will be hosting virtual readings with the chance to ask questions.

The authors taking part are:

  • Sarah Butler, reading from Jack and Bet;
  • Richard Ovenden, reading from Burning the Books;
  • Dr Helen Fry, reading from MI9; and
  • Matt Haig, reading from The Midnight Library.


Cllr White said:

Libraries encourage individuals of all ages to read for pleasure to increase their understanding of the world, stretch their imaginations and think differently.

Over the past few months they have increased their digital offer and seen 3,000 new customers join and a huge increase in digital borrowing. Libraries Week is a great time to see what your library has to offer so please pop down and say hello, follow them on Facebook, and enjoy your reading.

Physical book issues are on the increase as opening hours have been extended. The service has seen a week-on-week increase during September.

Please contact your local library, follow them on Facebook or ring 01609 533878 for full details of the times and locations of story times, and to register for the virtual readings.

For more information on what the library service is offering during the pandemic please visit

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