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Nothing can get in the way of Henry and his reading – not even a global pandemic!

Henry receiving his book track certificate from the Mayor in librarySix year old Henry Duriez and his mum Sarah visited their local library in Budleigh
Salterton every week before lockdown. Henry finds communication and social interaction difficult, but thanks to the patience and encouragement of the friendly library staff he had gained the confidence to chat happily to them. Henry was well on his way to gaining his Book Track award for reading 100 books when lockdown struck.

Sarah said: “Libraries were forced to close during lockdown, and we had to find a way of adapting so that Henry could continue with his challenge. A pandemic wasn’t about the get in the way of Henry and his books! Laura, Jane and the team of library staff have been so incredibly helpful and proactive in ensuring that Henry has had a continuous supply of books throughout. They have kept in regular contact via email, and their support ensured that Henry was able to achieve his gold Book Track

Once Henry had finished his award staff helped organise a socially distanced
presentation ceremony when Budleigh Salterton Mayor Mike Hilliar presented him with his Gold Book Track badge, along with a £20 Book token – which spurred Henry on to start reading 100 more books!

Sarah added: “Yet again the consistent backing of the library team ensured that Henry read a further 100 books. Due to lockdown, we have been unable to have a second gold badge presentation ceremony, however this has not deterred Henry in commencing Book Track Round 3! We are hoping for a double celebration in the coming months, once the restrictions are lifted.

“The unrelenting support that we have received from the staff at Budleigh Library has been astounding. From recommending books, ordering in specific books of interest, digging Story Sacks out of storage, engaging with Henry and sharing personal stories, to organising presentations.

I will always be so very appreciative of the huge amount of time and energy that the library team have invested in Henry.

“Henry now reads most of his books to his younger sister and they both love ‘acting out’ some of their stories using our library Story Sacks. We look forward to the time when she starts her Book Track journey!”

Libraries Unlimited believes…

…in the unlimited potential of library services to make a positive difference to people’s lives and communities through a shared love of reading and access to high quality information and facilities.