Wollongong’s most popular books in a year of reading challenges | Mercury of Illawarra

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The head of the Wollongong Library Network praised the teams of workers for their innovation and willingness to mingle and provide books to readers anyway during the closures. And they had felt the love in return, said Jenny Thompson, head of library and community services for Wollongong City Council. “It really reflected…how much our community loves engaging with libraries, which we kind of knew, but also how much our library team loves engaging with the community,” she said. . Read more: Gun found in bag of McDonald’s outside KFC in Unanderra, court hears ‘They were so keen to think of ways to continue providing services. They were so aware of the number of people who lacked being able to get their regular books… our team’s resilience and ability to innovate was something that I thought was a big part of our adaptation.” Since people were not allowed to physically visit libraries, books were instead mailed to them, delivered online, or delivered in person. And those who have experienced it know the joy of knocking on the door, revealing a brown paper bag of books on the step and a smiling face heading down the aisle. “It was like a production line in terms of people calling or reserving their books online…then there was a big line of tables, picking the books off the shelves and then packing them up, then we had families who had big lots of kids so by the time everyone has placed their order there are quite a few books to post so some of the staff said ‘okay put them in a box and I’ll drop them on the way home”. The home delivery system in place for people who cannot attend libraries was extended to include home deliveries, while online programs were offered, including a guided stargazing and the Dungeons & Dragons game, which will remain in place and has a waiting list of people willing to join in. Ms Thompson said that from June to October Wollongong Libraries sent 9,111 items and more delivered 2,403, in addition to regular home library deliveries. “We really felt the love from the people…and that enthusiasm to join us,” she said. “We’ve had wonderful feedback… someone said her husband hadn’t borrowed a book in 15 years, but now that he can order it online, he’s become an avid reader again.” The most popular book among borrowers was Australian author Jane Harper’s latest thriller, The Survivors. It has been physically loaned 414 times, downloaded 439 times as an eBook, and listened to 398 times as eAudio – over 1,251 plays in all formats. Well-known authors Lee Child, Trent Dalton and Michael Connelly made the list as well as newcomer Delia Owens with her debut novel Where the crawdads sing. Anh Do, a prolific resident of the northern suburbs, earned not only first place for the most loaned book for Junior Fiction, but also the next nine places. “Aaron Blabey’s Pig the Pug series is undeniably the most popular children’s picture book to read, with four of them making the children’s picture book list, including first and second place” said Mayor Gordon Bradbery. The magic of Hogwarts in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series and Suzanne Collins’ dystopian world in The Hunger Games have stood the test of time making the list ready for another year. Australian authors continue to dominate the lists with Julia Baird’s Phosphorescence: On Awe, Wonder & The Things That Hold You Up When The World Goes Dark, the most loaned non-fiction title and Dark Emu: Aboriginal Australia and the Bruce Pascoe’s Birth of Agriculture comes second. The respective autobiographies of Barack and Michelle Obama were also on the list. Sign up to receive the news emails below:


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