2020 has been a difficult year for the Library at Blackpool, with 2 members of staff (including the Manager) on long term sick leave since June 2019 and of course the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, it has not diminished our attempts to provide service to our patrons, the Trust and Education Centre. The year of 2020 saw the Library actively involved in a number of initiatives and developments including the running of a Staff Crèche, preparing and packing Gift Packs for “first-line staff as part of the Blue Skies Charity Office and being involved in NHS promotions. We also in December 2020 welcomed our new LKS Manager Linda Kalinda.
In January 2020 we had two more very successful visits with the Pop-up Library to Clifton and St Anne’s with nearly 30 people taking time out of their day to come to the pop-up and ask questions, borrow books and chat about the services the Library can offer. We gained 4 new members and everyone was full of praise for the Pop-up Library idea.
In February 2020 the Library team once again teamed up with Unison’s Jane Eyre to launch the annual Reading Challenge. Laura and Liz joined Jane on the Mezzanine to help sign up participants and give away some free books – this challenge proves popular each year and is a great way to encourage people to get reading! (See below).
At the start off the first Lockdown, the Trust realised that the on-site nursery would be not enough and so the Education Centre was turned into a “temporary crèche”, for 5 months from April to August, so staff could keep working and leave their children with the trained nursery staff. However, staff were required to support the nursery staff during the dropping off and picking up times during the day. Here, the Library provided 4 staff on the morning and evening rotas to support this, 5 days a week. For data protection reasons the crèche photos were deleted after a month so none are available.
In the summer, the library staff were also involved with the Blue Skies Fundraising Team in the preparing and packing of Personalised Care Packs for Clinical Staff on the Frontline. Under the supervision of Lee Watson, Sue, Jeanette and Elizabeth made up the care packs from the stock items and the main part of the Library resembled a mini-warehouse for several weeks. The Care Packs came with the simple message “We understand how tough the PPE can be on your skin. This pack contains a few items to help at this difficult time”. Overall over 5000 of these packs were distributed to Trust staff in Acute and Community settings.
Below are some pictures of the pack, care items and also the Thankyou NHS banner,
In addition, Sue and Jeanette both received nominations from Lee Watson for their sterling work on this initiative.
The nomination read from Lee Watson as follows, see below –
In the early Autumn we received our 2020 NHS badges of thanks for all the non-library work we had supported in the Trust as well as re-opening the Library in mid-June under COVID rules. Here we are pictured with Jane Meek HR Director of Operations.