City’s readers embrace Libraries’ digital services during lockdown

New figures show that Aberdeen’s readers have embraced the move to digital library resources during the current Covid-19 lockdown, it was announced today (Thursday 18 February).

Since the city’s libraries first closed on 20 March last year due to the initial lockdown, Aberdeen City Libraries staff have been working hard to adapt their services to ensure that service users have been able to access a wide range of reading materials and resources.

The library service has increased the digital resources available to members. These include BorrowBox and PressReader which provide free access to thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks and digital copies of newspaper and magazines.

There has been a huge upsurge in online borrowing with usage of BorrowBox increasing by 216% year on year and access to Press Reader has increased by 288%.

Online registration to join the library is also up 310% on the previous year.

The library's Bookbug Team have been successfully stimulating the imaginations of our youngest readers as well as gaining new skills in video editing to bring their popular sessions of stories, songs and rhymes for babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and their families online. Since April, the weekly pre-recorded interactive videos have been viewed over 31500 times.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokeswoman, said:

"Our library teams have been delivering online 24/7 services for a number of years, continuing to develop and add online content whenever they can.

Reading has been shown to have a positive effect on a person’s mental health and wellbeing. In the current challenging period, it is important to have access to reading materials and so now, when there is currently no opportunity to browse in our libraries, the focus is more than ever on our digital resources.

“Whether you are looking for a book to take you to a different world, ideas and resources to spark your imagination or ignite your zest for learning or just to keep the kids occupied - pop into our digital library and sample some of the many delights on our virtual shelves!"

Following the latest Lockdown in January, Aberdeen City Libraries have been able to continue their Home Library Service and operate a Click and Collect service at a limited number of locations.

Click & Collect appointments are available at the following libraries:

Central Library, Airyhall Library, Bridge of Don Library, Cove Library, Culter Library, Dyce Library, Mastrick Library and Tillydrone Library.

Click & Collect appointment hours are 10am - 12.45pm (Monday - Saturday) and 2pm - 4.45pm (Monday - Friday), with the exception of Culter Library which will open 10am - 12.45pm & 2pm - 4.45pm (Monday - Thursday).

To book an appointment, members can visit: www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/clickandcollect

For more information, visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/library or contact Aberdeen City Libraries by emailing LibraryEvents@aberdeencity.gov.uk.