Vancouver Island Regional Library has signed up more thant 1,300 new members since it launched its online card registration March 17. (File photo)

Vancouver Island Regional Library has signed up more thant 1,300 new members since it launched its online card registration March 17. (File photo)

COVID-19: Interest in digital offerings soars in Vancouver Island libraries

More than 1,300 people sign up for online membership

Since suspending all in-branch services in March due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, eBooks and eAudiobooks have been increasingly popular for the Vancouver Island Regional Library.

The VIRL has placed more focus on promoting and expanding its digital offerings. It includes increasing the number of always-available eBook and eAudiobook titles; offfering Wi-Fi services, in most cases 24/7, outside all VIRL branches; increasing access to the popular streaming TV and film platforms Kanopy and AcornTV; and promoting VIRL’s platforms and resources across all channels and to community partners.

Since VIRL launched its online card registration March 27, more than 1,300 new people have signed up for membership.

READ MORE: Libraries still ofering services to cardholders

As a result, VIRL saw a 50 per cent increase in eBook borrowing; a 30-per-cent increase in eAudiobook borrowing; 19-per-cent increase in digital magazines checked out each day; 15-per-cent increase in movies, TV shows and music streamed daily; and 15-per-cent increase in the use of online learning through Lynda.com.

VIRL’s two most popular eBook and eAudiobook platforms — Overdrive and RB Digital — have seen a spike of 132% in the average daily number of customers setting up accounts to download library content.

Notable trends in VIRL customer interests show that fiction far more popular than non-fiction while thrillers are the most popular genre of fiction. Romance and mystery follow closely behind.

The most read eBooks are:

1. The Alice Network

2. Where the Crawdads Sing

3. The Woman in the Window

4. The Good Daughter

5. Becoming The Kept Woman: Will Trent Series, Book 8

6. Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel

7. Little Women

8. Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone

9. Dark Sacred Night: Renee Ballard Series, Book 2

The most downloaded eAudiobooks are:

1. Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone

2. The Last Widow: Will Trent Series, Book 9

3. The Tattooist of Auschwitz

4. Beating About the Bush: Agatha Raisin Mystery Series, Book 30

5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

6. Everything I Never Told You

7. Becoming

8. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

9. Where the Crawdads Sing

10. The Year of Less: How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

For online learning, the top five languages customers are interested in learning online with Mango Languages are French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian and Mandarin. While nine of the 10 most popular classes on Lynda.com focus on using and designing digital content. As well, 200 customers have completed a bookkeeping basics class through the eLibrary this year.

Since March 17, VIRL members are reading 19 per cent more online magazines and newspapers through our digital platforms.

There also has been a 15 per cent increase in the use of the library’s streaming platforms, which feature documentaries, British TV favourites, and a wide range of other video content. The most viewed TV show is the ‘Brokenwood Mysteries’ and the most viewed movie is ‘Renoir’.

– NEWS Staff, submitted

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoronavirusParksvillequalicum beachvancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chris Wilkinson
Chris Wilkinson column: Time to slow down to speed up

In a society where we learn (are forced?) to multitask like crazy

A COVID-19 exposure has been reported at Shawnigan Lake School. (Citizen file photo)
Island Health reports COVID-19 exposure at Shawnigan Lake School

Shawnigan Lake School has been added to the list of schools in… Continue reading

Peas are great to grow in the garden, but a trellis for them in an A frame shape will offer more portability and wind resistance. (Citizen file)
Mary Lowther column: Making a foldable pea trellis on winter agenda

My previous methods required starting anew every spring

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson Column: Books open up a world of discovery

We try to eat dinner as a family every night. It happens… Continue reading

The Cowichan Tribes’ gymnasium at 5574 River Road is now operating as an extreme weather shelter. (Submitted photo)
New extreme weather shelter opens on River Road in Duncan

New facility should relieve some pressure on Warmland House

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read