THE doors may be closed but readers in Dorset are enjoying e-books and e-audio items that are available for download from the county’s libraries.
E-books and e-audio books issued peaked at almost 26,000 in April, an increase of 75% on same period last year, perhaps proving that there’s nothing quite like a good book to help lift your spirits or provide a bit of escapism.
The increase in Dorset is part of a national surge in e-book library loans, with recent figures showing a dramatic increase in people accessing digital titles across library services in England during the coronavirus lockdown as the nation seeks comfort in e-books.
Cllr Anthony Alford, Cabinet member for Customer, Community and Regulatory Services, said: “The libraries in Dorset reluctantly closed their doors on 20 March, but the latest figures shows you don’t have to walk through the doors to be a library enthusiast.
“Thanks to easy-to-use digital services with support to get online, residents are enjoying reading digital books, audiobooks and even comics.
“Our virtual library service has gone from strength to strength, with thousands of eBooks, eNewspapers and eMagazines loaned and downloaded by people staying at home, up by nearly 50 per cent since lockdown began.
“As a result, we’ve invested in the service to increase the number of available titles – more than 800 new e books & 1400 new audio books so there’s now even more choice, with more being added each week!”
You can see for yourself by visiting www.librarieswest.org.uk. All you need to access these digital services and resources for free are your library card number and email address.
If you’re not already a member you can join online at www.dorsetcouncil.gov.uk/libraries-history-culture/libraries/libraries.aspx. The council will send you a membership number and then you can get started straight away.