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Essex Libraries eAudio, eBook and family history users rise during COVID-19 lockdown

April 10, 2020 10:21 AM
Originally published by Chelmsford Liberal Democrats

Books and DVDs (Mike Pearce | Deep Reality)The number of people accessing eAudio and eBooks from Essex Libraries has risen during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Book lovers accessing Essex Libraries eAudio and eBook service Borrowbox have increased by 22 per cent over the last two weeks, with several thousand more residents using the service while they follow Government advice to stay at home to avoid transmission of the virus.

Essex Library service has worked hard to ensure its online services are as open as possible. New users of the library service are no longer required to register at a library in person, instead access to e-books, e-audio and e-newspapers has now been granted to those who have joined the service online.

In response to demand, a selection of e-audio books has been added to Essex Libraries eMagazine and eComic range. The number of e-comics available has also been increased from 238 to over 1,500, all with unlimited access.

Ancestry and Find My Past has been made available for customers to use from home and the valuable research tools Times Digital Archive and British Library 19th century Newspapers are now available to library members who have just joined the service online.

At a time when many parents are trying to keep young children happy in their homes, our online rhyme time service is now proving immensely popular.

Cllr Susan Barker, Essex County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for Essex Libraries, said: "These are extraordinary times and we are seeing online demand which has never been seen before in the history of the library service.

"Essex Libraries have responded marvellously to this challenge. Our work to create a modern libraries service to meet the demands of the 21st Century has proved vital to meet this demand."

To join Essex Libraries online services go to https://libraries.essex.gov.uk/