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Online library use with Derbyshire County council surges during lockdown

Published: 21 April 2020

The number of users accessing our digital library resources has surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

In February we had around 400 new borrowers using our eBooks service. During March we had approaching 900 new eBook borrowers. In the 2 weeks from April 1 – 17 we gained another 768 borrowers.

All our online resources are proving very popular, including eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers as well as eBooks.

Since shutdown we loaned more than 32,000 eMagazines and more than 17,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks.

There was a large increase in people joining our library service with more than 170 joining in the last 2 weeks of March, when we’d normally get around 40 or 50. That’s an increase of more than 330%. This pattern has continued with another 142 joining in the first week of April and 106 in the last week.

Leader of Derbyshire County Council and Cabinet member for Strategic Leadership, Culture and Tourism, Councillor Barry Lewis, said:

“At a time when we’re all being asked to stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives, I hope Derbyshire libraries are making the lockdown a little more bearable for people by providing these wonderful resources free of charge.”

Residents of Derbyshire who are already members of the library service can find out more about our online library resources.

Existing borrowers can use their library borrower number plus pin number, which is their birth day and year, to access online resources.

New users can join online. They will be emailed a borrower number by the team, although it may take a couple of days due to the increase in applications.

Children’s events on Facebook with Derbyshire Libraries:

Our first online storytime was watched on Facebook by more than 2,000 people.

There will be a regular pre-recorded storytime every week for children at 10am on Mondays, shared on our library Facebook page and Twitter account.

On Wednesdays at 10am our libraries also run weekly rhyme time and on Sundays at 1pm there's a weekly Lego Club.

Councillor Barry Lewis, added:

“This is a difficult time for parents who are trying to entertain small children at home, and often trying to work at the same time, so we’re doing all we can to support families and library members.”