While libraries in Kensington and Chelsea were closed during lockdown, the virtual library service offered residents a wide range of activities and services online, continuing on even after lockdown has eased. This includes virtual events, classes and talks for all ages via Zoom with thousands of people participating, and a range of online resources to discover.
eResources use from April to September overall showed huge increases with downloads of eBooks up 73 per cent and, ahead of Black History Month, two of the top three most downloaded eBooks both authored by Black women: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and Becoming by Michelle Obama. The third most popular eBook is Father Brown Complete Murder Mysteries by G.K. Chesterton.
Over the same period the libraries service hosted over 726 virtual events, with more than 4,500 signups, and uploaded over 40 learning videos with over 3,000 views so far.
Three of the most popular online events hosted via the virtual library were Art Deco Metropolis with the brilliant Anthony Robins; Creative Writing Tips, Tricks and Tropes with successful children’s author Caroline Lawrence; and Black and British History: Jamaican Slaves who Abolished Slavery with trailblazing historian Paul Crooks.
All three events had some of the highest numbers of attendees recorded since April, with a combined 800 people tuning in.