Lending rise in Newcastle as e-books are trialled in libraries

Bookworms in Newcastle are switching from traditional paper to on-screen reading as e-books are trialled in libraries

E-book devices such as the Kindle are proving popular when compared to traditional books
E-book devices such as the Kindle are proving popular when compared to traditional books

A scheme to make e-books available to library users has seen impressive results.

The e-book pilot is being run through the Publishers Association and the Society of Chief Librarians at four locations around the country, including Newcastle’s libraries.

And since the start of the scheme in April, e-book loans having increased by 78% from last year.

In the first month of the scheme alone, 3,358 e-books were borrowed, while 46% of all borrowed were books not normally available to loan from public libraries.

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.

Coun David Stockdale, deputy cabinet member for public health, culture, leisure and libraries, 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, libraries have an important role to play in helping people to borrow digital titles.”

The pilot scheme aims to find out exactly which e-books people are reading, in real time.

City libraries manager, David Fay, said: “We’re really pleased at the success of this pilot, which shows there is a high demand for e-book loans.

“Not all e-books published are available for libraries to loan, so we hope this means a greater choice will be available for our readers in the future.”

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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