max temp: 21°C

min temp: 18°C

Suffolk Business Awards 2018 Tickets

New figures reveal rapid rise in digital borrowing in Suffolk’s libraries

PUBLISHED: 07:00 10 June 2018 | UPDATED: 07:34 10 June 2018

eBooks are proving popular in Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES

eBooks are proving popular in Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK LIBRARIES


More than half a million digital items have been borrowed from Suffolk’s libraries in just four years – illustrating a rapid rise in interest in internet borrowing for reading and listening.

Latest figures show nearly 107,000 eBooks were borrowed and 29,000 eAudio books in 2017/18.

Paul Howarth, Suffolk Libraries’ stock and content manager, said: “We’ve seen a huge growth in the popularity of our online library services over the past few years and it’s something we’ve supported by adding new services and expanding the choice available.

“It’s very important that as a library service we continue to innovate and provide a wider choice of services and a range of options for people to access books and information.”

Suffolk Libraries launched its first ground-breaking service to lend eReader devices to customers in 2014 with the first pilot involving lending Nook devices at Thurston Library.

At the time it was thought to be the first service of its kind in the UK with Suffolk Libraries seeking advice from libraries in the US on how best to deliver the scheme.

The aim of the service was to support the growing popularity of eBooks and to give people the chance to test drive devices before they bought one.

This enabled customers to easily sample the range of eBooks available from Suffolk Libraries and following on from the launch at Thurston Library, Gainsborough and Woodbridge libraries now also lend eReaders to the public.

In 2015, Halesworth Library became the first library to lend iPads to customers. This was also thought to be the first scheme of its kind in the UK and allowed customers to access all eLibrary services.

Suffolk Libraries now has 12 libraries with iPads available for lending and two libraries with iPads to use in the library.

The devices have been borrowed 450 times. One of the first customers to borrow an eReader, a 90-year-old woman with a visual impairment and arthritis, found it easier to hold than a large print book and also had the added benefit of being able to increase the size of the text.

Suffolk Libraries’ eLibrary includes eBooks, eMagazines, eAudio books and digital music.

Last year members borrowed 24,000 eMagazines; downloaded 52,000 songs and streamed nearly 109,000 songs.

Emergency services are working together to trace a missing 63-year-old woman thought to be at risk off the coast of Lowestoft.

Police were concerned for the welfare of 15-year-old Josie Brennan, who went missing from Ipswich.

Divisive plans to make cuts on free school transport in Suffolk have been given the go-ahead – but proposals for the decision to be reassessed have already been voiced.

The thoughtful staff at a food depot in Stowmarket took part in a bumper volunteering project this month – refurbishing a number of rooms at a local school.

A group of sixth-form students at a Bury St Edmunds school have raised more than £2,500 for charity after they hosted a special garden party.

Could you give this abandoned rabbit a loving home?

An elderly woman called police after finding a burglar searching through her belongings at her home in Harwich.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24