Library service welcomes recognition of e-book loans

The county council’s library service has welcomed a move that extends compensation to authors for loaning their works for free from public libraries to e-lending.

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From 1 July, the government’s Public Lending Right Scheme will cover e-books and e-audiobooks that are loaned from public libraries across Great Britain. The change means authors are eligible for payment from a government fund whether their works are borrowed electronically or as physical books.

County councillor Greg White, executive member for library and community services, said: “North Yorkshire’s libraries are at the forefront of digital lending and have built a first class collection for their members, so we welcome this measure that recognises the loaning of digital books on a par with physical copies.”

North Yorkshire libraries made e-books and e-audio books available to members in 2010 and recorded just 4,000 issues that first year. Since then, the number of people using the service and the number of titles available has risen dramatically. Last year saw North Yorkshire issue more than 104,000 e-books and e-audio books, nearly 9,000 each month. Users of the service now have nearly 20,000 titles to choose from covering fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. Their popularity is growing, with more than 200 new users registering to use the service each month.

Nationally, e-lending in public libraries has risen dramatically in the past six years. Last year, more than 6,750,000 works were borrowed electronically, compared to 750,000 in 2011-12.

Cllr White added: “In addition to e-books, we have thousands of e-magazines, e-newspapers and e-comics available to library members, and they are all free to use. With summer here, I expect to see many more people taking advantage of the service for their holiday reading. It doesn’t matter where in the world they are, if they can access the internet they will be able to download books from North Yorkshire’s library service. It’s great to see our libraries responding to customer demand and thriving in the digital age.”

Explore North Yorkshire’s digital library resources here.

This story was published 28 June 2018