Aberdeen City Libraries digital technologies to adapt to the current Covid-19 pandemic and ensure that readers of all ages continue to have access to reading material and resources, has seen a huge upsurge in online usage.
The city’s libraries temporarily closed on 20 March on government advice regarding coronavirus but, having long prided themselves on their mission statement to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge and strengthen communities, this has not stopped librarians from coming up with creative solutions for serving the public.
There are already signs that people are turning to reading to stimulate their imagination during this time.
The library service has increased the number of digital resources available to members. These include BorrowBox, RB Digital UK and PressReader which provide free access to thousands of eBooks, eAudiobooks, eComics and digital copies of newspaper and magazines.
There has been a huge upsurge in online borrowing with usage of BorrowBox increasing by 200% year on year since the temporary closures.
Online registration to join the library is also up 200% on the previous year.
Fiona Clark, Libraries & Information Services Manager, said: “We have been delivering online 24/7 services for a number of years and we are continuing to develop and add online content whenever we can.
“In the current challenging time when our physical service is closed these are now more in focus than ever. 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!”
Those users currently with titles on loan are being reassured that no fines will be charged for items that are unable to be returned during the closures and that their accounts can be managed online.
The library is also looking into ways to engage with users via its website and social media channels. This includes providing online help and reading recommendations, Bookbug sessions for children delivered over YouTube and Facebook Live, and much, much more.
The Bookbug sessions can be viewed here:
For more information, visit www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/library or contact Aberdeen City Libraries by emailing LibraryEvents@aberdeencity.gov.uk.