300 downloads a day...

300 downloads a day...

Fiona Hill asks how the digital age and the Covid-19 crisis is changing the way we read


When library buildings are closed and the coronavirus keeping many of us at home, Newcastle Libraries are still lending books to keep bibliophiles reading! You can browse, borrow and read or listen to eBooks and eAudiobooks.

We have thousands of books available to download direct to your device. All you need to do is download the Borrowbox app onto your smartphone, tablet or PC and sign in with your library card number. If you don’t have a library card - that’s ok as it’s never been easier to join.

You can borrow adult books, audio and children’s all without spending a thing as its free! The selection of titles is comprehensive, including classics, best sellers, non-fiction and everything in between.

It’s never been a busier time for accessing eBooks so we are adding more titles each week to keep up with demand. In the first few weeks since libraries closed their doors eBook borrowing has more than doubled across England. Since lockdown, readers in Newcastle are borrowing a massive 60% more eContent through Newcastle Libraries.

We are working with Borrowbox on a service called Campaign titles. These are a range of books each month that have unlimited copies. Check Campaign titles on Facebook @NewcastleLibraries Twitter @ToonLibraries and hear more about the amazing books you can borrow in a future blog. This way there are no reserves – and that title will always be available for you.

I love finding a good story whether on my iPhone, tablet or on the paper page. I can’t borrow the physical book right now so that’s where the digital library has come in. Like many others I am adjusting to working from home and it’s important to switch off for a while and what better way than with something to read. There’s no need to be bored with the fantastic selection and genres available. Plenty of choice to keep everyone reading!  

How do I download the app?

To download the app, go to the app store on your device and search for and download Borrowbox. You can download up to 5 eBooks and up to 5 eAudiobooks at a time to a home computer or mobile device. The maximum loan period is 14 days. Titles are automatically returned at the end of the loan period, so there are no late returns and no overdue items.

The App is compatible with a range of devices - consult the 'help' section when logged into BorrowBox for more information. Select 'BorrowBox Library' from the Apple App store or Google Play to download the BorrowBox app to your device. When logging into App for the first time you need to select Newcastle Libraries - UK.

How do I join the library?

It couldn't be simpler to join online and it's all automatic.

  1. Complete this online form
  2. Wait for the verification email to come through to your email account (this might take a few minutes - check your Spam folder - it will be from information@newcastle.gov.uk)
  3. Verify your account by clicking on the link in the email which will take you to the library catalogue
  4. Make a note of your Username, Password (sometimes called PIN) and Library Card Number (sometimes called membership number) you'll need these later (perhaps copy and paste them into an email)
  5. It's sensible and more secure to now change your password to something you'll remember.
  6. You can now access eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks and eComics.
  7. The simplest way to access the content is to download the Newcastle Libraries App to your phone or device
  8. This app gives you access to loads of ebooks and eAudiobooks - the latest titles, award winners, non-fiction and the classics. Many people are joining our library service during social distancing to access our huge collections of eBooks, eMagazines, eAudiobooks and eComics.







Did you know?

Fiona Hill


Since lockdown people are downloading on average 300 eBooks from Newcastle Libraries.



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