Libraries see massive surge in eBook borrowing

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Galway Daily news Another €200,000 invested in eBooks and eAudiobooks for libraries

The number of people making use of Irish libraries online services for eBooks and eAudiobooks has quadrupled in the last month.

Galway East TD and Minister of State at the Department of Rural an Community Development Sean Canney said there has been a massive upsurge in people borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks since the physical closure of libraries.

Last month his department allocated €200,000 for libraries to purchase an additional 5,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks.

This was to give people an even greater selection of literature and other books they could access from their homes while in lockdown.

Public library buildings across Galway and Ireland are among the many services closed to the public as part of restrictions put in place to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The number of users registering to use the Borrowbox service, which handles eBooks services in Ireland’s libraries, jumped to almost 18,000 people last month.

That’s four times more people than were making use of it before the country started locking down for the coronavirus crisis according to the Independent TD.

The number of monthly loans also doubled to 120,000 between January and March of this year he added.

“Staff in Galway ‘s county libraries are answering phones and emails so I would encourage people to contact them if they have any questions about using Borrowbox.

“It is proving to be a great and popular service,” Sean Canney said.