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Libraries still operating online

A tutoring class offered by the Bermuda National Library. (Photograph supplied)

A charity set up to support public libraries has encouraged the public to support them through use of their online services over the Covid-19 lockdown.The Friends of the Bermuda National Library said on Tuesday that the organisation still had content and services that could be accessed digitally while the buildings were closed.Joanne Brangman, the director of libraries and archives for the Friends, said: “The library and its staff have been working diligently to keep library resources and services up-to-date in line with the advance of the digital age.“This includes shifting our focus momentarily to developing our digital books, audio, programmes and services.”She added: “The Covid-19 pandemic, while causing great change and uncertainty, has been the perfect time to reintroduce our programmes and resources to the community.“E-book downloads alone have tripled over the last three to four weeks.”A spokeswoman for the BNL and the Bermuda Archives said that their staff continued to work from home to answer questions and offer online memberships.The free membership gives members access to BNL events and programmes, as well as digital platforms for online reading, tutoring and video streaming.Families can also use the membership to sign up for free yoga classes such as children Yoga, run by Kallie Marcus of Kinetix children, and Kemetic Yoga, taught by Latoya Shelton.Melissa Looby, the president of the Friends, appealed for volunteers to join the executive branch of the charity.She said: “The Friends team, while small, provide continued support to the library and we welcome anyone who would like to join us on this journey.“Now is the perfect time to reinforce the value of literacy and access to information for all and I would like to acknowledge the hard work of the library team to ensure minimal disruption.”Application for Friends membership can be made at https://forms.gle/VxMhXE7GDYTnijWK6.Membership of the online library is available at http://www.bnl.bm/home/online-membership-application/.To register for workshops, e-mail libraryevents@gov.bm or call 295-2905.