As the nation is told to stay indoors amid the current global pandemic, libraries across England are reporting unprecedented rises in e-book borrowing.
According to Libraries Connected, loans of virtual services such as online e-books, e-magazines and audiobooks, were up by an average of 63% last month as compared to 12 months earlier.
Library memberships also rose across the country, with 120,000 people signing up in the three weeks after 23rd March, when Boris Johnson declared an official lockdown.
Nick Poole, spokesperson for the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, has said:
Not only are we attracting an entirely new audience, we’re able to demonstrate that the library is every bit as accessible online as it is in person.
Libraries have had a tough few years as online services revolutionised. However, a decision to permanently close several Hampshire libraries has now been delayed due to the virus, with Hampshire County Council set to decide the fate of many of Hampshire’s 48 libraries later in the summer.