I want to tell you a story

Seems the local authority’s new virtual library is proving a hit with residents of all ages who are keen to keep reading and finding information while libraries are closed during the Coronavirus shut down.

Now – says Bath and North East Somerset – adults will soon be able to submit their own masterpiece in two new creative writing competitions.

The virtual library has received lots of positive feedback since its launch on March 30 and as a result, the team are launching two competitions – a short story competition and a poetry competition called ‘Lockdown’ for adults whose creative streak has been sparked.

The virtual library not only has digital items to download but has dynamic, changing content and online events each weekday accessed via the library service’s social media accounts, with mornings dedicated to children and afternoons focussing on adults. There is also free access available to the Ancestry website for anyone with a library account in the Libraries West consortium.

Positive praise has been received for the ongoing interactive sessions and other events that have moved online. Comments included: “Always a lovely Storytime with you”, “You do so much for authors and helping to promote them and their books” and “Yay! We miss Bounce & Rhyme so much”.

All the libraries’ social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have seen an increase in followers since the virtual library was launched.

Councillor Paul Crossley, cabinet member for Community Services, said: “It’s encouraging to read the positive comments and see just how much people are still enjoying not only literature, but still feeling part of the community groups they usually attend at the library in person.”

Councillor Dine Romero, council leader, added: “Although these are difficult times for us all, I’d urge adults to try a creative outlet and have a go at writing something themselves for our new competitions whilst they are in Lockdown at home.”

The library service is welcoming entries for both competitions. One is a short story submission and the other a poetry submission. Both must have ‘Lockdown’ as the title and entries should be submitted online via email at lockdown_competition@bathnes.gov.uk

The competitions are free to enter and open to any library member in the LibrariesWest consortium, aged 18+. The closing date is 18 May 2020. Winning entries and four runners-up will receive a digital book token to spend at Mr B’s Emporium in Bath.

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For terms and conditions visit the libraries Facebook page @bathneslibraries

For more information and upcoming initiatives on B&NES libraries go to https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/library-and-information-services

For updates on all council services go to www.bathnes.gov.uk/coronavirus