e-Library expansion offers more ways to get connected

Hunter residents can now enjoy a range of digital library services due to City of Newcastle’s COVID-19 Community and Economic Development Resilience Package.

The $100,000 e-library expansion has been dedicated to building on the existing repertoire of free adult and children’s e-books, newspapers, magazines, music, and movie streaming services as well as online learning, and complementing plans for a Digital Library at the City Administration Centre at 12 Stewart Avenue. 

With 90,000 current members of Newcastle Libraries, and growing, the accessibility of the e-Library has already begun to show promising effectiveness within the community, with the number of new users on the free Newcastle Library app jumping by 53 percent from February to March.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the new figures show the City of Newcastle had one of the highest library membership take-ups per population in the state, showing the e-Library as a success. 

“With a user network this broad, Newcastle Libraries is well placed to keep the community connected at a time of social disruption and isolation, particularly the most vulnerable among us,” the Lord Mayor said. 

“Many have found themselves with more idle time on their hands and, while our libraries are temporarily closed to limit the spread of COVID-19, the depth and variety of content in our e-Library can take you anywhere – you can research a new hobby, take a virtual trip using our travel guides, or go on a wild adventure with our people and places titles.” 

Under the expansion, Newcastle Libraries members can now access online: 

·         Four e-book and e-audio platforms with thousands of titles, including the latest releases and popular titles; 

·         Storybox library: a children’s video streaming platform that features well-known Australian authors and TV personalities; 

·         PressReader, which boasts a wide range of international and regional newspapers; 

·         RB Digital, with countless e-magazines to flick through plus other e-titles; 

·         Movie streaming platforms Kanopy and Beamafilm, which contain more than 30,000 movies, documentaries, kids’ and wellness content; 

·         Freegal: a music streaming platform with access to 15 million songs, including the entire Sony Music Recording catalogue; and 

·         National Geographic online. 

If you’re interested in becoming a member of Newcastle Libraries, you can do so by joining online which allows immediate access to all digital content via the free Newcastle Library App or the website, newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Library

For further support, you can phone 4974 5300 to speak with a library staff member between 9.30am and 5pm on weekdays, and 9.30am and 1.30pm on Saturdays.