City of Newcastle invests $100K in e-library expansion
Newcastle Library is upping its digital presence during COVID-19 — in line with the media, retail and events industries — having just expanded its digital library services as part of a major upgrade.
The $100,000 expansion will see a new selection of e-books, newspapers and magazines appearing on its digital shelves; alongside music and movie streaming services and a repertoire of online learning tools.
The upgrade is part of the City of Newcastle’s COVID-19 Community and Economic Resilience Package. It builds on the strong success of the library’s existing digital platform, which, prior to the upgrade, accounted for 30% of all its book loans.
The e-library investment appears to be paying off, with the number of new users jumping by 53% between February and March.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the investment was justified given the library’s high membership rates (among the highest in NSW) and the increased demand for library services during COVID-19 lockdown.
“With a user network this broad, Newcastle Libraries is well placed to keep the community connected at a time of social disruption and isolation, particularly the most vulnerable among us,” he said.
“Many have found themselves with more idle time on their hands and, while our libraries are temporarily closed to limit the spread of COVID-19, the depth and variety of content in our e-Library can take you anywhere — you can research a new hobby, take a virtual trip using our travel guides or go on a wild adventure with our people and places titles.”
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