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Leicester Libraries launches free online storytelling

Published on Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Image shows Leicester Libraries storyteller Sandy Gibbons

LEICESTER Libraries will be posting free online storytelling sessions to Facebook and YouTube to help parents and families during the coronavirus lockdown.

From today – 8 April – two new stories will be told online every week, available to stream from Wednesdays.

One of the stories will be aimed at younger children, and one will be aimed at older children.

The stories will be posted online at the Leicester Libraries Facebook page, Twitter and on Leicester City Council’s YouTube channel.

Assistant city mayor for neighbourhoods, Cllr Kirk Master, said: “I think parents will agree that you can’t have too many sources of entertainment for your kids while we all cope with this lockdown. It’s a tough time for everybody, so we wanted to add to the online resources that are out there and provide something to help.

“The nice thing about these stories is that anyone who has been to one of our Toddler Time sessions or one of our Leicester Libraries events with storytelling will probably recognise the storytellers from our team. As well as telling a story, it’s about keeping that virtual connection with your local neighbourhood.” 

This week, the story for younger children will be The Three Billy Goats Gruff, told by Sandy Gibbons, and the story for older children will be The Clay Boy, told by Paul Gobey.

Future weeks will see stories including The Little Ducks, The Monkey and The Moon and Galloo Galloo for younger children, and Anansi and the Tiger, Nail Soup and Black Annis for older children.

The stories have been selected to include well-known favourites, some that families may not have discovered before and even some original writing.

Cllr Master added: “You don’t have to be a library member to access the stories - this is just another good way to get some ideas to keep children occupied at the moment.

“During the first week of social distancing, we saw an increase in borrowing of our ebooks by 118%, and this increase has continued into the second week. We can offer access to 10,000 audiobooks, ebooks, magazines and comics, through some free and easily downloaded software. We’re constantly adding to our online resources to support our 70,000 active members at this difficult time.

“We’re really pleased to be able to offer this service to local people and look forward to introducing members to our full range of library services once everything is back up and running again.”

Since Leicester Libraries’ buildings closed, the top five ebooks that have been borrowed are:

  1. Funny, You Don't Look Autistic: A Comedian's Guide to Life on the Spectrum by Michael McCreary
  2. Mad About the Boy: Bridget Jones Book 3 by Helen Fielding
  3. This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay
  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  5. Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Book 24 by Lee Child

The top three children’s eBooks which have been borrowed are:

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
  2. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  3. La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Vol.1 by Philip Pullman

To join the library, find out more about online ebook loans, or sign up for the monthly Booknews e-newsletter, visit www.leicester.gov.uk/libraries

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