World Book Day sees Cornwall libraries' e-book downloads skyrocket

As World Book Day is celebrated today Cornwall’s libraries are seeing a record increase in the number of e-book downloads.

More than of 86,000 books were accessed free from Cornwall Council’s download service Borrowbox last year.

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A total of 46,047 of these were e-books, up 135% from 2017, and 40,123 were e-audiobooks which have increased by a staggering 272%.

The number of people registered to use Borrowbox, which works across nearly all digital platforms, has also grown by 156% to nearly 7,000 users.

Another service offered free of charge with a Cornwall Council library card is a digital newsstand featuring hundreds of the world’s most popular newspapers and magazines, including the majority of daily and Sunday newspapers.

PressReader has seen a huge increase in uptake with 12,000 issues downloaded by the end of 2018 compared to just 600 issues at the start of the year.

Loans of physical books in the county’s libraries have been holding steady at about the 138,000 loans per month for the last two years.

The highest issuing book over the last 12 months was The Midnight Line by Lee Child who is currently Cornwall’s most popular adult fiction author.

This title was issued 1175 over the last 12 months. Cornwall’s libraries hold copies of this title in hardback, paperback and large print, as well as on ebook, eaudio and talking book on CD..

Books by this author are continually in the top issues and we try to keep the full series in stock.

Linda Moffatt, Cornwall Council’s Library and Information Service Manager, said: “We have been developing and improving our e-book and e-audio book service Borrowbox as more people have access to tablets and smartphones which allows them to download our free e-resources in the comfort of their own homes.

“We have been promoting Borrowbox with schools, on social media and through our satisfaction  survey which has resulted in a large increase in downloads. Because our ebooks are free to download, can be renewed and have no overdue charges, they are a great option when people lead such busy lives.”

Borrowbox is free to use for everyone who is a member of Cornwall’s library service.

Audiobooks and ebooks can be downloaded deleted automatically at the end of the loan period – so there is no danger of any late return charges.

Edwina Hannford, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for Neighbourhoods, said: “We are delighted that so many people in Cornwall are accessing free, e-books, e-audiobooks and magazines and newspapers online through our libraries while hard copies of books are still proving popular.

“It’s another example of how our library service is thriving and encouraging everyone to have a love of books as we celebrate World Book Day today.”