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Coronavirus guidance for Bookbug Session Leaders
Advice for Bookbug Session Leaders on how to mitigate risk and manage Bookbug Sessions during the Coronavirus pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic has had a huge impact on the delivery of face-to-face Bookbug Sessions. Scottish Book Trust is keen to support the return of these sessions and help Bookbug Session Leaders make the necessary arrangements for a safe and legal return in their venues.
Current circumstances mean that some fundamental changes need to be considered and library and other community spaces adapted in order to enable the safe return of face-to-face Bookbug Sessions. This guidance is intended to support the safe delivery of Bookbug Sessions if you are allowed to run them in your area. Please refer to the Scottish Government COVID-19 guidelines for your area at all times, along with the health and safety policies for your own organisation. In many cases it will not be possible to run in-person Bookbug Sessions at all.
We will continue to monitor national guidance and update information relating to Bookbug Sessions as and when required.
Scottish Government guidance
The Scottish Government COVID-19 guidlines(this will open in a new window) must be adhered to at all times. You should monitor guidance for your local area and ensure your knowledge is up to date.
Please start by checking the different tiers of COVID protection levels and find out what protection level your local authority is in(this will open in a new window). You may also find it useful to read the Scottish Goverrnment guidance on organised activity for children(this will open in a new window), which includes Bookbug Sessions.
It is your responsibility to find the appropriate guidance for your type of organisation and location e.g. library, early years setting, community venue.
Staff planning Bookbug Sessions that will take place within library venues should also adhere to library guidance around group activity(this will open in a new window) from Scottish Libraries and Information Council as well as their own library service’s coronavirus health and safety policies.
Bookbug Sessions in other community venues must be part of an organisation (e.g. not operating alone or freelance) and should adhere to their organisation’s coronavirus health and safety guidance and relevant policies for their sector.
Planning your Bookbug Session
If the Scottish Government guidance and tier system allow you to hold Bookbug Sessions in your local authority, you can follow this advice to ensure Sessions are as safe as possible for session leaders and families.
A suitable indoor space
- Check whether different households are permitted to meet together on the latest Scottish Government guidelines for your area and if so how many
- Your session venue will need to be measured to determine the number of adults, including the Bookbug Session Leader, who can safely and legally be admitted
- Under current guidelines, children under age 11 are not required to socially distance. However, the adults accompanying the children are required to maintain a 2m distance between themselves and other adults
- You may want to explore opportunities to hold Bookbug Sessions at times when the venue is not open to the general public
- It is recommended that you mark the areas on the floor where adults can sit to ensure social distancing
- Any floor mats will need to be thoroughly cleaned after the sessions, as well as any hard surfaces used
- Consider any venue-specific guidance (e.g. total numbers permitted in the library) prams and the safe accommodation of other people accessing the space
- Think about other indoor spaces such as toilets or buggy parking areas which could become crowded
- You should ensure adequate levels of ventilation are maintained at all times. Where centralised or local mechanical ventilation is in place, systems should be adjusted to full fresh air. If this is not possible, systems should be operated as normal
- Where ventilation units have in-built filters, enhanced precautions should be taken when changing filters
- Ventilation systems should be checked or adjusted to ensure they do not automatically adjust ventilation levels due to differing occupancy levels
- Wherever it is safe to do so, doors and windows should be kept open to increase natural ventilation and reduce contact with door handles
- The Fire Safety Risk Assessment should always be reviewed before any internal doors are held open. Internal fire doors should never be held open without a self-closing the proper mechanism
A suitable outdoor space
- Bookbug Sessions can be held outdoors if you have access to a suitable area and the weather allows
- You should keep the same considerations in mind as for indoor sessions, including permitted numbers, social distancing measures and cleaning any shared equipment
- The number of adults permitted to attend an outdoor session will be determined by your local authority tier
Planning and promotion
- In all your promotional messaging, please remind parents and carers not to attend the Bookbug Session if they, their child or anyone they have been in contact with has COVID-19 symptoms
- Consider how often you will be able to run Bookbug Sessions. As the attendance numbers will be greatly reduced, is it possible to deliver extra sessions so more families can attend?
- Use a booking system to manage attendance numbers and collect Track and Trace contact details such as names and email addresses or phone numbers. This will also help you to record attendance over the year
- When you advertise the session, be clear about the booking process and how many people you can accommodate. Families may be expecting Bookbug Sessions to return exactly as they were before, and others might be brand new to Bookbug Sessions
- You may wish to advertise online Bookbug Sessions alongside face-to-face activity to support families who cannot attend
During your Bookbug Sessions
- If someone displays symptoms of COVID-19 during a Bookbug Session, they should inform the Session Leader or an equivalent person and go home. At home they should follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection including testing and self-isolation.
- All adults present (including the Session Leader) should be wearing face coverings at all times.
- The use of movement songs may need to be minimised to ones that can be undertaken while sitting or standing in one spot.
- Think carefully about what props you use in your Bookbug Session, as children are always keen to take hold of them. It may mean you have to take a tight hold of any props yourself, or refrain from using any.
- It is not recommended to use Lycra in your Bookbug Session, as this can disrupt social distancing and involves several households touching the fabric.
Singing in a Bookbug Session
Key messages for parents
- Let parents know where to collect their Bookbug Bags if they have missed out due to coronavirus restrictions, and if possible keep a supply in the library.
- Look out for parents and carers who have had a new baby during the pandemic lockdown and are new to Bookbug. They may appreciate extra help and support to start sharing stories, songs and rhymes with their baby. There is some helpful information on our website on getting started with Bookbug: scottishbooktrust.com/topics/get-started-with-bookbug
After your Bookbug Sessions
- Remind parents that they can download the free Bookbug app and access the Song and Rhyme Library to continue sharing songs, rhymes and stories at home
- Library Books need to be put in quarantine after use for 72 hours, and any books covered in plastic may have a longer quarantine time(this will open in a new window)
- Ensure families leave your session in a staggered manner to minimise being crowded together within the library or community centre space
- Do not give out stickers in order to minimise risk of infection
- Remind parents to use the hand sanitisers provided before leaving the premises
Further support from Scottish Book Trust
We run an online Bookbug Session on Facebook Live(this will open in a new window) every Friday at 10am. Families can watch this for free, which may be useful if they cannot access face-to-face sessions.
We also offer a range of resources to support you with delivering Bookbug Sessions more generally, including webinars and training(this will open in a new window), themed Bookbug Session plans(this will open in a new window) and the Song and Rhyme library(this will open in a new window).
The Early Years team at Scottish Book Trust can be contacted at email@example.com(this will open in a new window)