Libraries can play 'key role' as Norfolk recovers from Covid pandemic

Jill Terrell

Jill Terrell, the new head of Norfolk County Council's library service. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

The head of Norfolk's libraries has retired after more than 20 years working for the service - and her successor says libraries will have a 'key role' as the country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

Jill Terrell has been appointed to replace Jan Holden as the head of Norfolk County Council's libraries and information service.

Mrs Terrell has moved to the role from her previous position as an assistant head of service, having joined Norfolk libraries in 2017.

Her library career began over 30 years ago and she has been head of libraries in Cambridgeshire and at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

Norwich Millennium Library issued more than 930,000 books last year. Picture: Hannah Hutchins/Nation

Jill Terrell says libraries will play a key role as Norfolk recovers from the coronavirus pandemic. - Credit: Hannah Hutchins/National Centre

She said she believed the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns had helped rekindle the love of books for many - and she was looking forward to getting libraries fully re-opened.


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She said: "Our libraries are at the centre of each community they serve, and they will play a key role in Norfolk’s recovery from the pandemic.

"Many of us have rekindled our love for books in the last year and our libraries are ready and waiting to provide everyone with a great choice of material, whether that's books on the shelf or an ebook.

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“Beyond the books, we have seen each library become a hub for local groups and services that are a lifeline to so many.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone back when it is safe to do so.”

Norfolk has 47 libraries, the majority of which are offering an 'at door' service ahead of April 12 - the earliest date when they could potentially reopen.

Jan Holden, head of libraries, at Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Jan Holden, who has retired after 21 years working in Norfolk's library service. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

Ms Holden, who first came to Norfolk 21 years ago to help develop the Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library at The Forum, said: "After a long career working in libraries, in Islington, Sheffield, South Wales and finally in Norfolk, I’m getting to the time in my life when I need to think about stepping aside and letting someone else take over.”

“The people I’ve had the privilege to work alongside, and the difference they’ve made to people’s lives has really inspired me over the past 21 years.

"2020 and the pandemic really showed what libraries and library staff can do”.

Her work was recognised in the 2020 Queen’s Honours when she was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to public libraries.

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