Wolverhampton’s libraries are continuing to provide vital services to the city’s bookworms, young and old, during the coronavirus emergency.

Though all 16 City of Wolverhampton Council run libraries are currently closed, there are still plenty of ways in which people can access services virtually.

Library members can still get hold of the latest collection of bestselling eBooks and eAudiobooks – for free – via the BorrowBox library on any Apple iOS and Google Android phone, tablet or computer.

Titles can be borrowed for free for a period of 3 weeks, at which point they can be renewed or will automatically be deleted from people’s devices, meaning customers won’t be fined for forgetting to return books on time. To sign up, visit Libraries.    

Ulverscroft has provided 500 audiobooks through ulibrary. To register visit ulibrary and download the ulibrary app. This service is available until 31 July. And there’s also Project Gutenberg, an online library of classic fiction works with over 60,000 free ebooks. Visit Gutenberg for more information.

As all libraries are closed, physical book loans are being renewed automatically so no one will incur any additional fines.

Anyone missing their reading groups can join in book discussions online through the library service’s Facebook and Twitter pages, using the hashtag #StayingInReadingClub. The current read, available through BorrowBox, is Tell Me a Lie by CJ Carver.

‘Virtual’ librarians can answer people’s queries online using the hashtag #virtuallibrarian on Facebook and Twitter, while anyone looking for recommendations can find staff reviews using the hashtag #LibrarySmashHits.

The ever popular storytimes for babies and children have moved online, with a new story posted every Tuesday on social media. Go to the Facebook playlist or search #OnlineStoryTime to view the latest video.

A new poetry competition, Spring into Summer, for children aged 8 to 11 and 12 to 18 years, is being launched this week by the Education Library Service and Wolverhampton’s first Young Poet Laureate Elisabeth Stuart. More details will be available on social media. 

The library service is also promoting literacy and reading initiatives offered by the Book Trust and Reading Agency, along with activities available through WV Virtual Squad and more digital activities are planned, including Rhyme Times and Chatterbooks Reading for 8 to 12 year olds, in the near future.

Councillor Harman Banger, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Our city’s libraries have a vital role to play in supporting people during the coronavirus emergency and it’s great that – despite the necessary closure of the libraries themselves – we are able to continue to provide so many services at this time.”

It's free to join Wolverhampton’s libraries and people can sign up on line. Please visit Libraries or follow on social media at Facebook and Twitter for more information.

The latest information and guidance around coronavirus is available at GOV.UK and on the council’s own coronavirus pages at Coronavirus advice and information. There’s lots of advice on how people can protect themselves and their families from coronavirus from the NHS at Advice for everyone - Coronavirus (COVID-19).    

The council’s Stay Safe, Be Kind campaign offers clear and simple advice about how people can help themselves, and how they can support others who may be particularly vulnerable at this time. For more information, please visit Stay Safe, Be Kind.