Dear Member

We hope that you, your family and friends continue to be well and in good health at this time.

Whilst we realise that there are far more important matters than the Library for people to deal with at the moment, we thought that now we are at Easter it was timely to update you on the work that is taking place at the Library to support and engage with you and the membership as a whole.

Firstly, the staff team have been investing time in setting up a dedicated e-book Library collection that we are expecting to be ready for your use during the week commencing 20th April. Our Library counter team have been busy over the last few days curating a collection of e-books that Members will be able to access and borrow. Full details on this service including how to log on will be sent out at the end of this week and we are hoping that as many Members as possible will try out and then use this service.  We anticipate that Members will be able to borrow a small number of titles at a time so ensuring that as many Members as possible can access and benefit from the collection.

Secondly, we want to assure you that whilst the Library has been closed, the Library team has continued to undertake regular checks of the Library to ensure that the building is secure and our collections are safe.  We have been also able to use these regular site visits to ensure that our recently set up postal service can be continued as this has been used by a number of Members over the last few weeks. We will endeavour to continue this service for as long as possible.

Thirdly, we have been looking at ways in which we can extend the work of the Library Members’ Forum that we set up three weeks ago as we are keen to engage all our Members during this period of isolation.  For those who have not already signed up, the address for the Forum is You can also access it from the Members’ page of the Library website under the heading Forum. In the coming weeks, linked to the launch of the e-book service, our next Book Club choice will be taken from the new e-book platform to make it easier for as many of you as possible to take part in the Book Club. If you use Zoom, we will invite you to a virtual meeting of the Book Club if you would like to do that, and if not we will discuss the book in the Forum and on Facebook. At the start of May we will issue our first podcast as well as our regular newsletter, Speaks Volumes. We are also planning to have a regular Members’ Quiz Night, online writer workshops and book readings.  We will keep you updated with these activities through our regular mailings, social media, website and through the Forum.

Finally, we want to confirm that the Library is committed to offering members an extension to their subscription for the period we are closed. So should we be closed for two months there would be the option for Members to ask for their subscription to be extended at no additional cost for a similar period of time, eg to 14 months. In the meantime the team will continue to collect direct debits and contact you about membership renewals. We hope as many of you as possible are able to commit to ongoing membership of the Library as that is the best way in which we can ensure the sustainability of the Library in the long term. We do, of course, recognise that some of you may be experiencing personal financial difficulties at this time and may be worried about your ability to afford next year’s subscription. If that is the case, please contact Carl Hutton in confidence to discuss your position as we are committed to supporting our Members through this crisis.

As a small charity we are not immune to the financial challenges that COVID-19 brings and so from May onwards, we will also be looking at fundraising activities that may assist us in reducing the impact of the probable reduction in income from shop leases, external events, memberships and grant income.  We are also, of course, taking steps to reduce our running costs while the building is closed.

As stated we will email out full details of our e-book service next week.  Until then, at a time when we are aware that COVID-19 has affected the lives of a number of our Members directly, please take care, stay indoors and continue to keep in touch with us.

Best wishes

The Leeds Library Team

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