The story of how the Monash Public Library Service adapted to the pandemic and the importance of libraries to the community is told in a raw and moving video created by the library staff.
Monash Public Library Service operates six branches across the City of Monash. Our Pandemic Story features the behind-the-scenes story of library staff determined to continue serving the community at the height of the pandemic and through two lockdowns, and how they did it.
Monash Public Library Service was one of the last libraries to close its doors during both lockdowns. To continue supporting the community, staff turned to social media and online services – and found a whole new audience.
Mayor Brian Little said it was an extraordinary story of agility, innovation and resilience.
“What this story demonstrates is the ability of staff to adapt and reinvent what they do in an incredibly challenging and rapidly changing environment,” Cr Little said.
“In the video, our staff speak from the heart about their pride about continuing to be there for our community, the excitement of making it work and how they will never forget people queuing for materials just before the second lockdown and the queue winding far back. It gave all of us a clear understanding of just what libraries meant to our community at the height of the pandemic and beyond.”
Some of the initiatives offered by the library service during this time included storytime for children online, 200 meals on wheels participants phoned to see if they wanted books or magazines with their meal delivery, workshops filmed by staff at home to share their hobbies and skills, the annual Wordfest literary event (now in its 25th year) delivered online, and storytime online in different languages and Auslan.
Many of the library users had never read a digital book before lockdown and the take up of digital resources was enormous.
For all staff, the importance of the library service to the community and how much they valued it was palpable.
See the remarkable video at https://youtu.be/IXyF72F0BG4