A €200,000 boost for eBooks and eAudiobooks was announced last week as the online library system experienced a ‘significant increase in demand … during the COVID-19 crisis’. 

The new funding aims to provide 5,000 additional eBooks and eAudiobooks to meet the shortfall after library branches closed earlier in the month and thousands of new library members signed up to read books, magazines and newspapers online. 

Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development, said: ‘Even though you physically can’t go into our libraries at the moment, the library service is still very much available to people online. In fact, we have had a big upsurge in demand for our online library service since our libraries closed their doors.

‘To ensure that the online stock could meet the increase in demand I have approved €200,000 to provide an additional 5,000 eBooks and eAudiobooks to the online collection.”

In the week following the closure of the public libraries, over 7,300 people registered for the Borrowbox service which provides eBooks and Audiobooks to library members, almost as many as had joined since the start of the year up to that point.

There were also 25,521 eBooks downloaded from 13th to 19th March, a more than threefold increase on the previous week. During that same week there were over 26,000 eAudiobook downloads, more than double the previous week.

To join the library online:

  • Click, ‘Submit’ and you’ll be taken to a new page that gives you a ‘Temporary’ library barcode. 
  • This will be your library number and you need it to access online services so save it somewhere or write it down and keep it safe. 
  • This page will also instruct you to ‘set a PIN’ and will give you a link to do that. 
  • Once you’ve set your PIN and you have your library number, you’re all ready to access all the online services.  

You can also access all of these services by signing in with your library card number, which is printed on your library card. You can phone your local library if your card is out of date or if you need any assistance.