Stacks of books are available online. Photo: Zizi Averill
Stacks of books are available online. Photo: Zizi Averill

Libraries grow in popularity as the Clarence goes digital

LOCAL libraries have adapted quickly to restrictions on services - and so has their loyal base.

When the Federal Government announced libraries would close last month, Clarence Regional Library quickly diverted resources to its eLibrary, providing members with access to more than 7000 eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and educational resources.

That move has looked to have paid off as downloading of digital content has surged.

In two weeks, more than 2100 digital books and 700 eMagazines have been downloaded, twice as many as the previous fortnight.

The library also launched the Clarence Regional Library app, allowing members to connect with their library safely and easily from home via a smartphone or tablet.

The app has already been downloaded to 700 devices.

The most borrowed eAudiobook for March was Persuader by Lee Child with 36 loans and the most borrowed eBook for March was Lonely Girl by Lynne Vincent with 22 loans.

Since libraries closed, 50 new members have signed up for library cards.

Recognising not everyone had the same access to online platforms, the library also introduced a Click/Call & Connect service which allows members to pre-order books by phone or online.

They can then collect their reservations safely from the front door of their local library to ensure they adhere to social distancing measures.

The library service is also delivering online events to engage and connect with communities in these times of isolation. Digital events include a weekly Lego challenge, The End of the Word Book Club, Writers' Corner and storytime - all delivered online.