Laura Sharman 06 April 2020

Councils see 600% boom in digital library memberships

The number of people signing up to online library services has increased by 600% in some areas since the coronavirus lockdown.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said many councils are seeing a boom in the number of residents using digital library resources.

However, it said that many libraries are restricted in the number of e-books and audio books they can provide because of licensing limits with publishers.

It is calling for the Government and publishers to work together to unlock an additional £5m in investment to enable libraries to increase their capacity in loaning more e-books and audiobooks.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: ‘Councils are doing everything they can to protect their residents’ wellbeing during this difficult time. Extra funding would help libraries extend their licences and meet this growing demand.’

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