Suffolk Libraries has seen record figures for eLibrary borrowing over the first month of the year.
The figures show how more and more people have been using its online services during the current lockdown. The highest ever number of online applications to join the library service were also recorded during January with nearly 600 people signing up for a library card.
Suffolk Libraries has seen a huge increase in numbers of people borrowing eBooks and eAudiobooks during the current lockdown. Nearly 3,300 people used the Overdrive eBook service during the week of 25 January, downloading over 8,000 books. These weekly figures have doubled since March 2020 and have been rising since Christmas. It was a record week for the BorrowBox eAudiobook service too with over 1,000 customers downloading over 1,600 titles. The number of people using the Pressreader online newspaper and magazine service has also been increasing since Christmas.
This comes after Suffolk Libraries extended its Jumpstart 2021 sessions into February due to the success of this online wellbeing campaign.
Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, said:
“Even more people are using our eLibrary services and engaging with us than during the first lockdown. These figures show there is a huge demand for information, entertainment and other ways of maintaining wellbeing in these challenging times and they fulfil the dual role of keeping people safe at home too. We are planning to reopen some of our physical services in the coming weeks, but we are putting even more effort into providing new and engaging content and developing new ways to help people during this current lockdown as we know it’s crucial that people still have access to what we offer.”
A member of Suffolk Libraries DiscoveReads online book group, recently commented:
“Suffolk library services are truly exceptional and have evolved to provide that sense of community we all need. For me being able to access eBooks and audio books from the comfort of my home, and all for free is simply an amazing service, one that I am always enthusiastically sharing with others. I particularly love the audiobooks - looking through the last 12 months it would have cost me many hundreds of pounds to buy them and some inspiring ones I've borrowed a few times.”
Suffolk Libraries will also soon be officially launching the Suffolk Libraries Day book festival, which will be taking place in March, featuring discussions with a series of top authors including Kathy Reichs, Peter May and Bernard Cornwell. The event will raise funds to support Suffolk Libraries work across the county. Several events have already been confirmed and you can book a place via the book festival pages.
Suffolk Libraries has also recently launched the Phone a Friend service which offers older or isolated people the opportunity to receive a friendly regular call from a library volunteer.
Suffolk Libraries is an independent and charitable organisation which runs Suffolk’s library service. In these extraordinary times, communities across the county need Suffolk Libraries more than ever. As a charity, we need support to ensure that we continue to nurture children’s literacy, support vulnerable and isolated people and promote positive wellbeing through our activities and services. Please donate today by visiting: www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/support-us/