Hello everyone. As always, I hope you are keeping well and safe. Many thanks to all who contributed to the DCMS and Arts Council surveys. We hope to share updates from the surveys when they become available.

Today’s edition covers

  • Future dates for the Virtual Learning and Support Sessions
  • Free Webinar from the Arts Council’s Digital Culture Network
  • General Updates and links to useful resources

Virtual Learning and Support Sessions – A focus on Recovery

https___cdn.evbuc.com_images_62052618_207977903246_1_originalThese sessions have been very well received and fast becoming a useful vehicle for CMLs to receive and share updates/ideas, ask questions, discuss their concerns and challenges and support each other.

With libraries set to be open in the third phase of the government’s “COVID-19 recovery strategy”, and July 4 earmarked as the earliest date for this to happen, the virtual learning sessions will now focus on RECOVERY.   To book a place at these sessions simply click the date you wish to attend and follow the instructions. We will send you a ZOOM link to join the session when you register.


In advance of these sessions you may wish to read this interesting blog from Libraries Connected:  Safety first: The recovery of Library Services.  You may also want to look at BEIS guidance on safe operation of various workplaces – on GOV.UK here

Also, to note that Libraries Connected are developing general libraries guidance for restoring services that will have input from Public Health England.  The Peer Network will be sitting on the ministerial group that will work through and agree it and will update you in due course.

The Arts Council’s Digital Culture Network

The Arts Council’s Digital Culture Network is offering a free webinar session on 3rd June looking at online safety.  The session has been designed to help arts and cultural organisations intending to work with young people online create robust safeguarding policies and procedures as well as raise awareness of good practice in online safety.  For more information please see the following link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-safety-for-organisations-working-with-children-and-young-people-tickets-104663132246

General Updates and Useful Links

At the last virtual learning and suppGarden Suburb_001ort session, colleagues raised questions on recovery plans, volunteering, books, computers and board games and safety.  Below we have shared some helpful feedback on these topics from Sue @ Libraries Connected who is also a CML Peer Network trustee.


Recovery  may take the following phases:

  • Phase 1: Concentration on opening libraries for basic services with a focus on Continuation and development of digital events and activities
  • Phase 2: Very limited group activities in libraries with strict social distancing and maintaining a vibrant online programme
  • https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-roadmap-taskforces/covid-19-roadmap-taskforces – this was published by the government a couple of days ago and gives an opening date for libraries of 4th July as part of a step 3 process – but very much baby steps.

In terms of questions raised around books, computers and board games:

  • Re books – they need to be quarantined for 3 days. There is a real debate about how we do that – PPE etc etc – but I think given the conversations running about gloves and the risk of contamination each CML may need to decide what to do – but bottom line is you need to keep washing your hand.
  • Computers – the protocols are still being worked on, but you may wish to start out by blocking out every other computer to maintain social distancing and mice/keyboard/chair/desk/terminal will have to be cleaned after each session, and  decide on how long each session should be to cut down dwell time. Plus to start with you may wish to do click and collect and even when people start coming into the building – seats will be taped off, soft toys etc put away, etc to keep social distancing and stopping people spending too much time in the building. So at the moment I am buying Perspex screens, floor space markers, thinking about space marshals inside/outside library like supermarkets (Perspex screens – you can buy ones that are not fixed plus signage– Terry Knight at Atlas UK Ltd ( on LinkedIn is doing that)
  • Board Games etc – the issue is about how do you manage social distancing with games etc and how do you avoid contamination – you could lend them out and then treat them like books? We are doing crafts etc on YouTube (my staff are filming themselves on their camera phones and it looks ok) – and keeping/building my audience so when it is safe for them to come back and do that in the library we have not lost them. So I am still thinking about Phase 2 activities and how to do that safely.

We will discuss Volunteering at our Virtual Sessions, and insights from colleagues will be shared here.

Please continue to visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus announcements and updates. Visit our website for information/resources: CML National Peer Network website and continue to visit the Arts Council website for a wide range of updates and resources.

Thank you all and stay safe.