Keeping yourself entertained and occupied is an important consideration in lockdown, making it a welcome move that €200k has been allocated for improving our libraries online services.
Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring approved the funding recently to buy 5,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks for public libraries
Galway East TD Seán Canney said that the funding is coming from his department after a rise in public demand in recent days
“The COVID-19 crisis has seen an unprecedented demand for these services and I am very pleased that my Department has responded in this way,” Seán Canney said.
“Clearly people are not in a position to physically visit their local library in the current circumstances so it is only right that we should invest more in online services to meet demand.”
In the week following the closure of public libraries more than 7,300 people registered for the Borrowbox service, which provides e-Books and eAudiobooks to library members.
This was nearly as many people as had joined since the start of the year according to Deputy Canney.
The Independent TD added that more than 25,000 eBooks were downloaded between March 13 and 19, which was three times the previous week.
During the same period, more than 26,000 eAudiobooks were downloaded, more than double the previous week.
“Even though you physically can’t go into our libraries at the moment, the library service is still very much available to people online,” Minister Ring said.
“In fact, we have had a big upsurge in demand for our online library service since our libraries closed their doors.”
Anyone interested in joining their local library can get further information at librariesireland.freshdesk.com.