Last month, there was a 210% increase in e-book loans from the local authority’s libraries’ service compared to April 2019 (1520 from 491).
There has been a similar spike in use of other e-services - 227% for e-newspapers, 175% for e-audio and 86% for e-magazines.
In total, 4401 e-books and audio books have been accessed since lockdown began at the end of March to 10 May.
The Council’s libraries closed on March 17, in accordance with guidance from the both the UK and Scottish Governments due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
To meet the increasing demand of e-books and other e-services from adults and children, the local authority has refocused its offering of e-stocks.
A welcome boost
Convener of the Council’s Community Planning and Regeneration Committee, Cllr Chris Kane said: “It was a really difficult but necessary decision to temporarily close our much-loved libraries, but the huge increase in use of e-books and other library e-services is a welcome boost in these challenging times.
“We have invested in our e-stocks as part of our commitment to enhance our digital offering and to ensure there is plenty reading and learning material on offer for children and adults across Stirling until it’s safe to welcome them back to our libraries.”
Among the favourite e-books for adults across Stirling are crime writer Lucy Foley’s novels, The Guest List and The Hunting Party; Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming Michelle Obama; The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel and Made in Scotland, by iconic comedian, Billy Connolly.
For children, all of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels, and David Walliams’ books, such as Gangsta Granny and The Ice Monster, are proving popular.
Wide-ranging benefits of reading
Vice Convener of the Committee, Cllr Maureen Bennison said: “Although our libraries are physically closed because of the pandemic, they are still providing a wide range of key services to the public, including e-services.
“These impressive figures are really heartening and show people of all ages are still using our libraries and enjoying the wide-ranging health, well-being and educational benefits of reading, which are even more important in these challenging times.”
For more information on Stirling Council Libraries and how to access its wide variety of free e-services, please visit the Stirling Council website
The libraries service is also posting videos of Bookbug songs and sessions on their Twitter and Facebook pages, along with fun offerings such as a daily quiz and wordsearches, along with links to helpful information and resources.
The NHS Inform website is producing regularly updated guidance on COVID-19 and we would recommend this as the best resource for the latest information and advice.
Residents in need of care, essential supplies or support can contact 01786 404040 and have their requirements formally recorded by Stirling Council’s community response teams. You can also fill in our Support for People online form.
Stirling Council’s Libraries Service has also been using 3D printing technology to produce vital PPE equipment for NHS staff and other essential workers in the frontline of the COVID-19 battle.
Stirling Council E-service use (April 2019/2020)
E-book use - 491-1520
E-audio - 481-1323
E-magazines - 1634-3036
E-news - 3151-10310