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Cumbria County Council - The Library Edit Issue 4

Cumbria County Council have been releasing newsletters containing some of the best websites and online resources to get you through lockdown, all chosen by library staff. Below is a selection of resources from this newsletter.

If books and reading are your thing, here’s this week’s “go to” websites …..

360-degree Library Tour

Missing your library fix? Take a tour of King’s College Library at Cambridge University. The university library was established in 1441 and is home to notable collections of rare volumes, medieval manuscripts, and early printed books. Roam the all-wood labyrinth of aisles and nooks in this online tour, which features short biographies of scholars who left their mark on the college.

Hay Digital festival

The Hay Festival has gone digital this year and #Imaginetheworld, which will be free to view, runs from 18th to 31st May 2020, with free live broadcasts and interactive Q&As from over 100 of the world's greatest writers and thinkers.

How to take part

Following the streaming of the talks, they will be available to watch afterwards on Hay Player.

Free Winnie The Witch ebook

The adventures of children’s book characters Winnie the Witch and her black cat Wilbur, delight children and their adults alike, and Oxford University Press has just published a lockdown-themed free e-book called Winnie and Wilbur Stay at Home. The title is available to download on the OUP home learning hub Oxford Owl for Home. The 41st book of the Winnie and Wilbur series, shows lots of situations which families in lockdown can relate to, from trying to tackle home learning to joining in with the clap for our carers and NHS staff. At first they find it difficult, but in the end they discover that staying home can be magical if you have each other.

Generation Lockdown

A writing competition for 7-17 year olds sharing stories of life in lockdown. Judged by children’s publishers and all winning entries to be included in a specially produced published book.

Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

Online reading of the first Harry Potter book read by a host of famous Harry Potter loving fans, with the first chapter read by HP himself, Daniel Radcliffe!

What to Read Next?

An ingeniously created tube map of what to read next for 7+ years readers if they have exhausted David Walliams, Tom Gates, Michael Murpurgo and others!

Cumbria Library Service

And finally, don’t forget the Cumbria Library Service website, where library members can access a range of online services including FREE ebooks, eaudiobooks, digital magazines, comics and newspapers.

If you are not a library member you can access these services right away by joining online

Experience the great outdoors, inside, as you #StayHome

Nature Detectives

The woodland Trust have pulled together some simple, nature-based activities which you can enjoy together with your family at home or in your garden.

National Geographic Kids

This website is linked to the subscription magazine but without either registering or subscribing to the magazine, you can find amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun competitions, games and more.

Pawprint Family

Aimed at scout leaders, teachers and parents this website provides ideas and opportunities to help them deliver everyday adventure and skills for life. Many activities can be completed indoors. (Please note that the site offers badges which can be purchased, but they are not needed for any of the activities).

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum website provides a range of nature-themed activities and crafts which you can do in and around your home with your family.

Here are some good websites and apps to look at to find fun, free activities for your children while they’re learning from home.


For students revising at GCSE and A-Level, this site has a wide range of free material, plus paid access to higher level resources.

Fable Vision Learning

Free online resources from the educational publishing company which help promote creativity, communication, collaboration, cultural thinking and compassion for both primary and secondary age children.

Disney Education

Free activities, resources and videos showcasing some of the most popular parts of Disney Theatrical’s education programme.

ICT Games

Created by a UK teacher, ICT Games offers a range of maths and English games aimed at children in Years 1, 2 and 3.

Dyslexia online learning help

A learning package from specialist publishers Barrington Stoke offering advice, information and free resources for parents and carers of children with dyslexia, including tips on reading and links to specialist support.

Dekko Comics

Free educational comic stories to help with school work during Covid 19. AgesS 9-12 (Primary keystage 2) relevant to national curriculum subjects Maths, English, Science and Geography. Useful for reluctant readers, visual learners and dyslexic students. Designed with dyslexia friendly features in mind.

Chris Haughton Read-alongs

Chris Haughton, author-illustrator of favourite books such as Oh No George! and Goodnight Everyone is keeping children across the world busy with his read-alongs, live art tutorials and activities.

Tom Palmer

Join the author of the popular Football Academy series on his website for daily stories and other free reading-related fun for families at home.

Useful websites to support your health and wellbeing…

NHS Looking after young people and children during the Corona Virus.

Tips and guidance on how to best care for young people mentally and physically with useful further support links also.

Welfare Support

A Cumbria County Council booklet covering a wide range of welfare support that is available to people who may be struggling because of coronavirus. Physical copies should be distributed to households this week for people to keep and use as they need it.

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place 18-24th May. Here are a few recommended webpages designed to support mental health…..

10 Days of Happiness

The Covid-19 pandemic brings big challenges for our mental health, whether you're isolating at home or trying to live with the new restrictions. This program can help you cope and find a little more happiness in these crazy times.

10 Days of Happiness is a free online coaching program which guides you through daily actions for happier living. It is designed for challenging times, based on the latest research from positive psychology, neuroscience, and behavioural science.

Mental Health Foundation

The Mental Health Foundation website has a range of content designed to give you more information about mental health and to help you to look after your mental health. There are podcasts, videos, inspiring stories and information about getting help if you're struggling. The Mental Health Foundation is part of the national mental health response during the coronavirus outbreak, and their website also had a dedicated coronavirus webpage.


Whether you're living with a mental health problem, or supporting someone who is, having access to the right information is vital. The Mind website offers a wide range of information and support, as well as a dedicated Coronavirus support page.

Reading Well books

In these challenging times, The Reading Agency’s expert-endorsed ReadingWell book lists can help you look after your mental health and manage long term conditions. The books are all chosen and recommended by health experts, as well as by people living with the conditions, and their relatives and carers.

BorrowBox platform

Please take a look at the newsletter at the bottom of the page for a list of available Reading Well collections. All of which are available to download as e-books from our BorrowBox platform.

If you are interested in music, art, theatre, galleries, museums and all things cultural, these are “must visit” websites…..

Seeing the North with Sankey

Sign up to the dedicated Facebook page for this fabulous project run by Signal Film and Media which explores Cumbria and the North through the eyes of the Sankey photographers. There are plenty of opportunities to poke around in British photographic history and opportunities to share stories and get involved in volunteering.

Artwork Archive

An informed perspective on how to be a cultural and artistic participant from your couch while at home with tips and links to help you make the best of this season’s offerings.

And children can be Culture Vultures too…

m6 Theatre Company

A Tiger's Tale inspired by the book Tiger on a String about a family of acrobats who travelled the world. When WW2 broke out they returned to Yorkshire with Fenella, a Sumatran tiger! Downloadable activity pack accompanies the film.

The Little Angel Theatre

I Want My Hat Back is eight and a half minutes of pure joy. An otherwise polite bear takes revenge on a bad bunny who has pinched his pointy red hat. In the sequel, also staged on top of a wooden dresser a tiddler has stolen a handsome green bowler from a much bigger fish who reclaims it while enjoying a snack. Just as mischievously macabre as the original book. Another sequel, We Found a Hat, will be online from 24 May. All three films will be online until 7 June.

Be inspired and get creative, with these amazing websites…..

Isolation Art School on Instagram

Projects, lessons and tips by artists to help people get creative while housebound during the pandemic. Set up by Keith Tyson who won the Turner Prize in 2002, with activities for adults and children.

Paul Smith

In this Get Creative at Home Masterclass which is part of the BBC Culture in Quarantine programme, the designer shows how he finds inspiration in everything from high art to everyday life.


#StayAtHome is a selection of free creative courses offered by the experts in online creative development courses for adults.

Origami Way

A website with easy to follow instructions and examples to help you turn sheets of paper into butterflies or some of your favourite characters such as Yoda or Pikachu!

Apps, Podcasts, and TV shows with real screen-appeal…..

Stuck at Home

Daily kids’ entertainment podcast from children’s radio station Fun Kids. Stories, interviews, fun things to keep you entertained and more.


A youtube created website where young people and their parent/carers can find videos that might be useful for their schoolwork. It links to videos and livestreams on a variety of subjects including coding, fitness workouts, maths, natural history videos and writing projects.

Let’s Go Live

Youtubers and TV hosts Maddie Moate and Greg Foote stream live daily with chat and activities around a great variety of different topics from birdspotting, dinosaurs, garden workouts, space, volcanoes and more. Although live, all shows can be watched again.

Celebrity Substitute

Starting 7th May, inspired by the millions of students around the world learning from home, the show will get celebrities to team up with teachers to hold lessons over the internet. Features Ken Jeong, one of the judges on the recent TV show The Masked Singer.

Stream #withme

On 30 April a collection of famous British Youtubers and celebrities were asked how they were coping with being at home and set online challenges. It features stars including inventor Colin Furze, Youtube English teacher Lucy Earle, and vloggers Daniel Howell and Phil Lester (aka Dan and Phil). Although they were live streams raising money for NHS charities together, they can be watched again on Youtube.

Oti Mabuse dance classes

Strictly Come Dancing and The greatest dancer star Oti Mabuse, and her husband Marius, have been filming dance classes for young people and adults to enjoy.