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Young bookworms catch bug for interactive reading online

17 December 2020

Numbers enjoying much-loved song and story sessions for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers are soaring despite Covid-19 restrictions.

It’s a plot twist few would have anticipated when the pandemic put Fife Libraries’ popular Bookbug meet-ups in peril earlier this year.

Now thanks to the wonders of Zoom and social media, more children than ever before are discovering the benefits of sharing books together.

When lockdown happened in March, the OnFife Libraries team wasted no time in switching its Bookbug activities to social media.

Pre-recorded sessions proved popular, but libraries staff at Kirkcaldy Galleries missed interacting with the families who regularly took part in the Scottish Book Trust programme.

Their absence prompted the idea of running sessions, live over Zoom, when the library was closed on a Monday morning.

A six-week pilot scheme, launched in October, proved so successful that interactive Bookbug sessions are to continue.

Feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive. One wrote: “Lovely to see lots of joining in with the actions … and smiles.”

Another said: “It’s easy to log in with clear instructions. Sessions are friendly and welcoming, It’s great to see a familiar face and have that interaction.”

“It’s amazing how imaginative and creative our OnFife colleagues have been during the pandemic,” says Bookbug Co-ordinator for Fife, Sharron Brown. “They’ve helped to ensure that our families feel connected and entertained.”

OnFife’s Cultural Services Supervisor, Jennifer Yardley, says it’s two-way process: “The team here absolutely love interacting with our Bookbug families again, welcoming both familiar faces and new ones. It is so rewarding for all the staff involved.”

The next Bookbug meet-up on Zoom is on 21 December. Sessions will resume after the holidays on 11 January. Places can be booked through the www.onfife.com.

OnFife Libraries is continuing to create pre-recorded Bookbug sessions, which can be accessed through the OnFife Virtual LibrarYAY page.

Ends

For further information contact: Sheona Small, press officer, 07809 727 989 or email: sheona.small@onfife.com

Notes to editors: OnFife (Fife Cultural Trust) is a registered charity and manages and operates theatres, libraries, museums and galleries and cultural partnerships on behalf of Fife Council for people living, working and visiting Fife. Further information can be found at www.onfife.com

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