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National Library could be used as emergency hospital to support NHS

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth could be used as a temporary hospital to support the Hywel Dda Health Board’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Health board officials visited the library to discuss options which include storing equipment and medical records and possibly using parts of the building as a hospital. The library car park has already been released for use by health workers.

Library staff are being encouraged to volunteer their services and the library building will be lit blue every Thursday evening to show support for the NHS.

Whilst the library is closed to the public and staff to stop the spread of the virus, its 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, more people have been using their time at home to view the digital collections online, free of charge. These resources include historic newspapers, books, maps, manuscripts, photographs, archives, sound, video and film.