Dudley’s librarians hit the road

Library staff members Mike Smith (left) and Pete Pilsbury out delivering prescriptions.

With library buildings closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Dudley’s library staff have taken to the road to help support their local community and in particular the housebound and those self isolating.

In response to a request from Dudley Council, library staff who would normally deliver Dudley’s Home Library Service – a mobile library provision supplied directly to people’s front doors – are now ‘on call’ to collect and deliver urgent medical prescriptions as and when required.

Five staff members are currently involved, with a remit to deliver prescriptions to those most in need. The team work on a rota basis and observe strict social distancing protocols, use hand sanitiser and leave medicines on individuals’ doorsteps, before phoning them to advise that the delivery has been made. Commenting on the initiative, David Potts, Better Libraries Partnership Manager for Dudley said:

“I am extremely proud of the team, who have really risen to the challenge and embraced their new working day with enthusiasm and focus. Although we’ve only recently started deliveries the feedback we’ve received to date from those who are housebound and reliant on medication has been incredibly positive. 

“We’re hoping to be able to contribute more to the local community in the coming weeks, for example by delivering food parcels and staffing food bank phone lines. Our library staff have a multitude of skills and we’re keen to put them to good use.”

Councillor Laura Taylor, cabinet member responsible for libraries at Dudley Council, added:

“I want to extend my personal thanks to the library staff involved in delivering these essential prescriptions, and all those in the community who are playing their part in keeping people safe at home, saving lives and protecting our NHS.

“I would encourage anyone who is concerned for themselves, a friend or family member to get in touch through the dedicated phone lines, which we have set up to provide support where it’s needed most.”

While the town’s library buildings remain closed, the team at Better, the charitable social enterprise that operates libraries on behalf of the council, has been working hard to move many of its services online. Book reviews and craft classes are being hosted on the libraries’ Facebook and Twitter pages, along with ‘Story Time’ sessions for children.

Using their library number and PIN Dudley library members can also access free E-books, free audio-books and free E-magazines spanning everything from popular fiction for adults, children and teens alike to non-fiction including cookery, gardening and technology publications. Also on offer are free music downloads and streams from a choice of over 15 million songs and playlists ranging from opera and classical music to jazz, rock and pop.

To borrow an e-book, e-audiobook, e-magazine or e-music, you can visit the Dudley Libraries online resource site.


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