The eBook service offered by libraries in Lichfield and Burntwood is being expanded due to an increased demand during the coronavirus crisis.

Staffordshire’s library service said people being asked to stay at home as part of social distancing measures, means more residents have been looking to borrow digital versions of books.

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for communities, said steps were being taken to boost the number of eBooks available to be borrowed.

“We invested last year in our eBooks service to increase stock by 80 per cent and now we’re investing in new titles again to meet the sudden rise in demand.

“Our 43 libraries may be closed at the moment, but all our online resources are there for people to enjoy.”

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council

As well as the sharp rise in eBooks activity, the library service has seen more people visiting social media pages to engage in activities which have been moved into the digital space.

“The service’s facebook page is brilliant – staff are using it to post films of Baby Bounce activities or Afternoon Story Time so parents can do things with their children at home.

“We’re also directing parents to activities such as virtual tours of zoos, information to support children being schooled at home and online support for mental health.

“We are reaching thousands of people and we will keep trying to help with ideas and suggestions – and the best thing is that the people loving the service are sharing it with others and feeding back their ideas and it’s just getting better and better.”

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council

Existing library members who haven’t signed up online can download the BorrowBox app or visit its website at www.borrowbox.com and use their membership number and PIN to access books.

New library service members can register online by going to www.staffordshire.gov.uk search ‘join library’ and follow the instructions.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.