e-Library expansion puts more digital content at fingertips

18 Apr 2020

Newcastle Libraries’ growing network of 90,000 members have never been more connected, now with more digital library services at their fingertips than ever before. 

Under the newly adopted COVID-19 Community and Economic Development Resilience Package, City of Newcastle has committed $100,000 to an e-Library expansion, building on its 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. 

Already, the e-Library accounts for 30 per cent of library loans, demonstrating its effectiveness in reaching the community. Further, the number of new users on the free Newcastle Library app jumped by 53 per cent from February to March. 

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the City of Newcastle had one of the highest library membership take-ups per population in the state, making the e-library a powerful tool to promote personal wellbeing and enjoyment. 

“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. 

You can become a member of Newcastle Libraries by joining online, gaining immediate access to all digital content via the free Newcastle Library App or the website, newcastle.nsw.gov.au/Library

It is free to join if you live or work in the Newcastle region. If you are already a member, you do not need to join again to access the e-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.