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New library app supports rise in online lending

Published
24.02.2021

A new app is being introduced by Gloucestershire Libraries for customers to download eBooks.

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Digital library services are continuing to provide people with comfort and support during the national lockdown and have soared in popularity.

From Thursday 25 February, the new Libby app will be available for customers to access a huge range of eBooks and eMagazines.

It will replace the previous RBdigital app and will offer many new features. A vast range of children’s and adults’ titles are available, as well as popular magazine titles such as BBC Gardeners’ World, Good Housekeeping and New Scientist.

If you have a book checked out in the RBdigital app when the switchover takes place, the title will still be available for the remainder of your lending period.

Digital loans in the county have increased by 69 per cent from 2019 to 2020 and January 2021 has proved to be one of the most popular months ever for online lending. Loans of eBooks and eAudiobooks rose by 81 per cent compared to January 2020 and the eAudiobook total for January 2021 was the highest ever recorded at 10,146 loans.

The popularity of reading and stories at this time is also reflected in the library’s Facebook group ‘Your Book Club’, which started in August. It shares book recommendations from customers and staff and this month reached 1,000 members.

To find out more about the Libby app, whether you’ve used the RBdigital app before or want to try eBooks for the first time, please visit www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/libraries/ and click on eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines.

BorrowBox, the library app for free audiobooks, will not be changing and is still available for customers who enjoy listening to their library books.

All digital services apps are free to customers with their library card and pin number.

Gloucestershire Libraries also offer reservation and collection services for books, as well as essential PC use in libraries when booked in advance. Please visit the libraries website for more information.

Cllr Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “This new app will complement the already comprehensive range of free digital services available for library customers in our county.

“I’m pleased to see that online lending is proving to be so popular and people are enjoying the services on offer. I hope this has provided a source of comfort during lockdown and I look forward to the reopening of our libraries when it is safe to do so.”

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