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€200k investment being made into provision of library e-books and e-audiobooks, Ring announces

This is in additional to the already allocated €200,000 which was invested at the beginning of the crisis.

Image: Shutterstock/Adam Radosavljevic

AN INVESTMENT OF €200,000 has been announced by the government to support the provision of additional e-books and e-audiobooks to meet the significant increase in demand for access to public library online services during the current Covid-19 crisis. 

This is in addition to the already allocated €200,000 which was invested at the beginning of the crisis. 

Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring has also announced a fund of €20,000 to support the provision of an EasyReader collection of books for emerging adult readers and people with literacy needs. 

The funding will be directed through the Local Government Management Agency. 

“Since the public libraries closed on 12 March the levels of usage of our online library services has soared and is at unprecedented levels,” Ring said. 

Since the first investment in late March, nearly 21,000 new members have registered on Borrowbox, the service which allows access to the eBooks and eAudiobooks, according to Ring. 

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“This is nearly three times as many people as registered for the service during the first two months of the year, so it shows how important and popular the service is. I would encourage everyone to join the library. It is free to do so and you can join via the Libraries Ireland website,” he said. 

Since the closure of public libraries on 12 March, there has been an average of 504 new members registered daily for the Borrowbox service, compared to the daily average of 138 who registered previously in 2020, according to Ring. 

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