The National Library of Wales has agreed with Hywel Dda Health Board the possibility of using The National Library building in Aberystwyth to support the response to the COVID-19 emergency.
Officials from Hywel Dda Health Board visited the Library building in Aberystwyth to discuss options which include the storage of equipment and medical records as well as the possibility of repurposing areas of the Library building as a temporary hospital. The Library car park has already been released for use by health workers. Meanwhile, Library staff are encouraged to volunteer their services and the Library will be showing its support for the NHS by lighting the building blue every Thursday evening.
The Library building in Aberystwyth was closed to the public and staff the week before last, in adhearance with guidance to curb the spread of the virus. However, even though the Library building is closed to staff and the public, the Library’s digital collections continue to be available as usual online, 24 hours a day.
Pedr ap Llwyd, Chief Executive and Librarian said:
“In the midst of this national emergency we are proud to be able to offer practical assistance to Hywel Dda Health Board by offering the use of our building. At the same time, while the building is closed, we will continue to provide access to millions of items online. We are confident that the use of these collections will have a positive effect on health and well-being during these challenging times.”
Since the crisis began, the Library has seen a rise in the use of its digital collections as more and more people are using their time at home to take advantage of the range of collections available online, free of charge. These resources include historic newspapers, books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, archives, sound, video and film. The Library will continue to increase its efforts to make people aware of these online collections and resources during the following weeks and months.
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