Laura Sharman 06 April 2020

Councils see 600% boom in digital library memberships

Councils see 600% boom in digital library memberships image

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.’

The Brownfield Land Release Fund image

The Brownfield Land Release Fund

To what extent does this early initiative of the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities deliver on the ‘levelling up’ agenda? Lawrence Turner reports.
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