Huge increase in e-book loans at Newcastle Libraries

A pilot scheme at Newcastle Libraries which explores the use of e-books by library customers has generated impressive results.

The e-book pilot has only been running since April, but the figures show e-book loans have increased by 78% compared to the same period last year, with 3358 e-books borrowed in the first month alone.

Newcastle Libraries are one of only four libraries nationwide chosen to participate in the yearlong e-book lending pilot in partnership with the Publishers Association and the Society of Chief Librarians

The pilot aims to carry out real-time research into the impact e-book lending in public libraries has on authors, publishers and on libraries themselves so that e-book lending can be available more widely. 46% of the e-books borrowed in the pilot were not normally available for public libraries to loan.

Councillor David Stockdale, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health, Culture, Leisure and Libraries at Newcastle City Council, said: “Libraries recognise that not everyone prefers to read a hard copy of a book. With the ever-increasing ownership of digital devices such as e-readers and smartphones, libraries have an important role to play in helping people to borrow digital titles”.   

Newcastle Libraries members can download the e-book titles online through their website or by using an app on their mobile device provided by e-book supplier Overdrive.

The ebooks can be borrowed for 21 days and there are no late fees as titles are returned automatically.

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