Thanks to new funding from Arts Council England, Suffolk Libraries has been able to boost the number of eAudiobooks available for children and young people just in time for World Book Day on 4 March.
Suffolk Libraries has received £1,000 from Arts Council England’s grant of £152,000 for new library eBooks and eAudiobooks across the country to help meet the demand for digital books during COVID-19.
Suffolk Libraries is using its share to increase the collection of children's and young adult eAudiobooks available via the Borrowbox service, with Borrowbox itself generously match-funding the Arts Council England grant. You can find out more about Borrowbox and Overdrive eAudiobooks on our listen page. There are also audiobooks available on the Overdrive service. The extra titles and other lists of can be found via Suffolk Libraries recommended lists and the eLibrary pages at suffolklibraries.co.uk
Arts Council England have provided the funding after a 146% increase in demand for digital titles from libraries across the country during the coronavirus crisis. This is a trend which has been mirrored in Suffolk too.
Sophie Green, Suffolk Libraries stock librarian, said:
“We were particularly keen to add to our eAudiobooks titles as they help to provide children with an alternative to looking at a screen. Audiobooks are wonderful because they help children and young people to discover stories that would be beyond their reading age, giving them access to a wider choice of titles and the opportunity to listen with others for a shared experience. They can also improve vocabulary, empathy, listening skills, increase wellbeing and provide screen-free downtime, but more importantly they can help children fall in love with stories and experience the joy of getting lost in a good book.”
Recent research by the Literacy Trust found that engagement with audiobooks can benefit children's reading skills and enjoyment, as well as their mental wellbeing and emotional intelligence. audiobooks can help to engaging reluctant, struggling and developing readers and can help children access a wider range of stories where difficulty understanding written text may be a barrier. The ‘cool factor’ of listening to stories on a digital device is also particularly appealing to children and young people.