LIBRARY services in Warwickshire are keeping up to date with hi-tech readers by increasing the amount of electronic books and online resources available.
With the rising trend in “e-readers”, Warwickshire Libraries and Information Service is keen to spread the word about its vast variety of stock in cyberspace.
Timed to coincide with the holiday season, library bosses have just added 30 travel titles which can be downloaded from its collection.
The new additions allow travellers to do their homework on destinations including Cancun, Egypt, Tuscany, New York and Jamaica.
Library users can also access popular biographies, fiction titles and children’s books – straight from their armchair at home.
General information can also be sourced via Encyclopedia Brittanica Online and the Naxos Music Library holds nearly 750,000 classical music tracks.
Even paintings can be downloaded to a PC, i-phone or i-pad at any time of the day. Users can borrow up to three e-books for three weeks each.
The service is free to all library customers – a Warwickshire library ticket is all that is needed to access the county’s online collection.
Research published by The Bookseller earlier this year suggested 6.5 million British people owned a dedicated e-reader – more of them aged over 50 than between 18 and 24.
And between Christmas Day 2010 and the end of January this year, 10 million e-books were sold compared to 18.6 million print books.
Cllr Colin Hayfield, portfolio holder for customers, access and physical assets, said: “E-books represent a logical progression for the library service by making resources available at any time of the day, providing total convenience for all of our customers.
“There have been concerns that moving towards providing electronic services risked excluding our older users. The research shows that this is actually far from being the case as this is the sector of the market which is, proportionately, using ebooks more than any other.
“The online reference library is opening up a wide range of possibilities for our customers in a way that concentrates our resources on providing books, music and the other facilities that are so valued.”
The library has popular biographies by Stephen Fry, Jeremy Clarkson, Barrack Obama, music biographies by Bob Dylan, Abba and Pink, and popular fiction by writers such as Dawn French or Nick Hornby.
Children’s titles including the Percy Jackson and Artemis Fowl stories are also available.
The online service also offers paintings by famous artists such as Da Vinci, Lowry or Van Gogh through Grove Art Online whilst Grove Music Online gives a potted history of pop groups and performers.
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