Huge increase in online library use in York

Photograph: Glenn Carstens-Peters / Unsplash

People have been flocking to the online services offered by Explore York libraries during the crisis, new figures reveal.

In the first month of the coronavirus lockdown 514 people joined the city library service remotely – four times as many as in the previous month.

New members are signing up to read e-books and e-audiobooks, magazines and UK newspapers, and to use family history sites and other information. 

An Explore York spokeswoman said: “Our e-library was very popular even before coronavirus struck and was one of the top performers in the country. Now usage has almost doubled.

“Monday (20 April) saw the highest ever number of books borrowed remotely with the trend looking likely to continue.

“But there are still plenty of e-books and e-audio books on the virtual shelves with around 4000 still available to borrow.

Explore launched a new service Press Reader last Friday using funding from City of York Council’s Covid-19 general support grant. Press Reader enables members to read daily newspapers and magazines for free.

All these online library services are free to use with a normal library membership and people can sign up here.

Other services are available on these pages:

Explore’s website also has information for people of all ages including special links to activities you can do from home.