Footnotes: Lockdown sees a surge in online library memberships

Here's how you can benefits from your local library, even while its doors closed.


People may have been turning to their to-read piles during the coronavirus-induced lockdown, but they have also been cherry-picking from the collections of their local libraries remotely, too.

Libraries have reported a huge surge in new memberships as people sign up and log in from the safety of their houses to access e-books.

The Press Association reported increases in new memberships of up to 770 percent – that was the figure in Hampshire, while Cornwall enjoyed a 630 percent increase and in Herfordshire new memberships rose by 332 percent.

With people unable to borrow physical books, the councils have seen increases in e-books – by 23 percent in Hampshire – and audiobooks by 31 percent. In Cornwall the jumps were even more significant, with a 56 percent increase in e-book loans.


If you’ve got an e-reading device (you can download apps to turn your phone or laptop into one), you can also benefit from downloading e-books and audiobooks from your local library while at home. Most libraries use accessible services such as BorrowBox or Overdrive. If you’re not yet a member of your local library, simply visit its website to find out how to sign up remotely, and then you can start borrowing.

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