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So your library closed…

In 2016, 343 libraries closed according to this article on BBC News. Of those 343 closed libraries, 132 were mobile (for areas which didn’t have a library in a building) and 207 were based in buildings. One of the many libraries that closed might have been yours.  And you were probably unhappy. I know I was when it happened to mine.

Borrow books

Apart from the loss of social interaction with other people in the library, the importance of which to many lonely people shouldn’t be discounted, people unsurprisingly also lost the ability to borrow books to read.

Not everyone has a Kindle

I know not everyone has a Kindle (or can afford one) and therefore the ability to carry a digital book around, to be read as and when they feel like it.  But according to OFCOM 94% of the UK population have a mobile phone, which is a staggering statistic.

Borrow box?

So your library closed.  But did you know about BorrowBox? If your county library (and most people still have one of those) supports it, BorrowBox allows you to use your library account to borrow digital books.  Digital books are e-books and audiobooks.

BorrowBox is an app (I’ve got it on IOS from the Apple app store, but it’s also available on Android from the Play store).

You need a library account

Because I have a library account I’ve got a plastic library card. On my card is a 14 digit reference number, which they call my username. I also have a PIN which I created at the library when I got the card. I use both of these to login to my library account online.

Search for your library website on Google then use your ‘username’ 14 digit reference number and your PIN to login to your account.  Search through genres (like romance, historical, science fiction etc.) or just browse the BorrowBox catalogue on the app and see what you’d like to borrow.

Download books again

If you’re not sure about a book you can download a preview of it to your phone. Once you decide you can download the whole book (or one of my favourites, an audiobook) to your phone.  You get a couple of weeks to read or listen to it and usually if you haven’t finished it, you can renew it just by clicking a button on the app, on your phone.

What if someone else is borrowing it? Well you can Reserve it and the app tells you when the book will become available for you. Then on that date BorrowBox email you to tell you it’s available to you. They even give you a link to the book so you can start reading or listening to it.

I don’t know how many new books they get every week but they do renew the stocks and list the new books on the app.

Take a look and try borrowing a book on BorrowBox. Maybe you’ll feel just a bit better, even though they had to close your library.

And if you enjoyed this post about reading, why not have a look at my book review of Christina Hardyment’s “Arthur Ransome and Captain Flint’s Trunk”?

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