All council-owned libraries have closed because of the coronavirus outbreak but residents are still able to access digital library resources.
Councils are providing additional online access to resources under the hashtag #LibrariesFromHome, extending online memberships for no extra fee, and all fines incurred as a result of the closures will be waived.
As a result there has been a boom in new digital users. For example, Hampshire County Council has seen a 770 per cent increase in new digital users, Cornwall Council a 630 per cent increase and Hertfordshire County Council an increase of
The coronavirus outbreak poses serious risks to the country’s network of cultural organisations unless there is a joined-up approach to supporting them, the Local Government Association and Arts Council England set out today.
Responding to the Heritage Lottery Fund’s £50 million funding announcement for heritage sites, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said:
“We are pleased that the Heritage Lottery Fund have provided much needed funding at this difficult time for heritage organisations, who face the additional challenge of high maintenance costs for their buildings during the current closures.
"It is also positive that it recognises how investing in the ROSS network will help both heritage organisations, and provide work for hundreds of freelancers.
“Councils are doing everything they can to protect youth services but funding pressures and rising demand for other services means they have had to reduce spending on youth services by more than half since 2010."
“Councils are uniquely placed to build on community strengths in partnership with Arts Council England, and the greatest impact can be achieved through locally-led culture facilities, including museums, libraries and arts organisations."