Newcastle City Council and five other local authorities have begun to lend e-books and audiobooks via the cloud from mobile apps.
The cloud-based library is from US-based firm Bibliotecha. People can “borrow” books using either an iOS or Android-based app to request books, which can then be read using most e-book readers.
As well as Newcastle, Richmond upon Thames, Suffolk, Slough, Shropshire and Stoke-on-Trent have all signed on to the Cloud Library scheme. The council said the demand for e-books was growing. Last year borrowing of the two combined from the City Library increased by 12% to 21,818.
Councillor David Stockdale, cabinet member for communities and facilities at Newcastle City Council, said: “The success of modern day libraries is all about being able to move with the times and providing people with services they are interested in using.
“The world of e-books has really captured the imagination of readers and we are reflecting this need at Newcastle Libraries. This will hopefully increase the profile of our local libraries and bring to people’s attention the other qualities our libraries have to offer.”
In addition to these six authorities, e-book library launches are also being planned in Bracknell Forest Council, Doncaster Council, Hammersmith and Fulham London Borough Council, Kensington and Chelsea London Borough Council and Westminster City Council