Library - Internal-10

There has been a significant recent increase in residents accessing the RCT Libraries FREE online content – after 231 new users signed up in March, as the resource was expanded in anticipation of the current health emergency.

The range of downloadable books and content available remotely has been increased, to coincide with the necessary closure of library buildings and the mobile library service due to Coronavirus. Residents can sign up online through a quick process, by clicking ‘Join the Library’ on this webpage.

The expanded online resources now include Borrowbox (e-books/e-audio), Comics Plus, Zinio (digital magazines), Transparent Languages Online and RCT Libraries’ own Heritage Trail and Photographic Archives. As approved by Ancestry.com, ProQuest have recently enabled temporary remote access to family history resource Ancestry – permitting users to access billions of census records, directories, photographs and more.

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A total of 231 new users self-registered to access RCT Libraries’ online content during March 2020. This is reflected by a 78% increase in e-book loans and a 163% increase in e-book reservations. There has also been a 30% increase in e-audio loans, and a 31% increase in e-audio reservations.

This follows a significant national investment in purchasing additional e-books and e-audio resources ahead of the Coronavirus emergency, with the intention of continuing this increased engagement in the long-term.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, said: “The online content available through RCT Libraries is an excellent resource for residents, who are unable to access their local library and the mobile library service right now as a necessary public health measure. You don’t have to be an existing Library member to sign up online, and there is a quick process to join. 

"It is very encouraging to see the number of new users increase significantly throughout March, which was when the remote resources were expanded ahead of the Coronavirus health emergency. The Council is continuing to promote this service and expand it further where possible – with the Ancestry family research tool becoming the most recent addition to the site.”

Posted on Thursday 16th April 2020

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