2020 & 2021: Covid19 and building issues
The last two years at Baildon Library have been very turbulent and we have had a considerable number of obstacles to overcome.
We've been faced with:
- Funding cuts to Bradford Libraries;
- Library staff redundancies;
- Ongoing issues with the continuing deterioration of our building,
- and, of course, we have had to navigate our way around the Covid 19 pandemic.
Our volunteers have been fantastic throughout the whole period. They have stoically turned up to keep the library service going and, despite the uncertain future of the library, they have continued to be enthusiastic and as willing to get involved as ever.
Closure of Baildon Library
Baildon Library closed its doors to the public in March 2020 as the national lockdown began at the start of the Covid 19 pandemic.
Whilst the library was closed during the first lockdown, the volunteer coordinator with the volunteers compiled a list of online resources for Baildon Library users that was shared on social media (Facebook and Twitter).
Library users were then able to access e-books, e-magazines, e-newspapers and e-audio books as well as access to Family History research software for free. In addition, they were directed to online children's story performances and free home-schooling and reading resources for primary-aged children. Two of our library volunteers also developed crosswords and anagrams that were shared with library users for entertainment.
Re-opening the library service
Baildon Library was once again able to re-open on 1 September 2020 offering an Order & Collect and a Returns service for 12 hours per week.
Volunteers worked alongside a paid Bradford Libraries staff member to ensure that the people of Baildon were able to access books and audiobooks. We were able to continue to offer this service throughout lockdowns 2 and 3. Although library users were not able to come into the building, the volunteers made sure that visitors could still see attractive book displays from the collection point to provide some inspiration.
Our Storytime volunteers won an award!
The Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge is aimed at under 5-year-olds and is delivered annually in Baildon Library by two of our lovely volunteers, Jill McDougall and Jane Bowdery. Younger library users take part in events in the library and are awarded completion certificates.
For their sterling work in January/February 2020, Jill and Jane were awarded first place for the Bradford Libraries Rhyme Challenge Best Practice Award in a library. The prize was awarded at a Zoom ceremony led by Bradford Libraries in November 2020 and was announced by Councillor Sarah Ferriby. A framed certificate is now on display in the library.
Extending our services further
Baildon Library was ready to open its doors to the public again in June 2021 but Bradford Council decided not to proceed due to concerns about the deterioration of Ian Clough Hall.
After lengthy discussions between Baildon Town Council and Bradford Libraries, it was finally agreed that Baildon Library could let the public back into the library for browsing from Monday 8 November 2021, provided that only 10 people are allowed into the building (in addition to staff and volunteers) at one time.
There are also further plans to re-start some of our volunteer-led, small group activities within the library in 2022.