MIDDLESBROUGH  Library is celebrating  its  100th anniversary by going digital.

Is this the end to paper back books?!

Borrowers will now be able to download books instead of picking a hardback off the shelves.

And they can even do the downloads from the comfort of their own home.

Last year in 2011 the UK witnessed the closure of many libraries due to cuts been made by the government.

As a result of this technological transformation there is pressure on local libraries to compete with the advances that companies such as Amazon and Sony are making.

Middlesbrough library which is one of the few libraries that has managed to survive the government cuts celebrate their 100th anniversary this year. As they are prepared to take a step forward into the new year, Middlesbrough library offer members the opportunity to download e books and e audio books directly to their electronic devices.

Julie Tweed, Library Resources Manager at Middlesbrough library says “We actually started in November last year and we did this because of the high demand we were receiving from the public.

“Now  people are buying e readers we can give people access to books twenty four hours a day and if people can’t get to the library they can download it from their homes.”

Members of the public who wish to use this service need to go into the library and become a member by receiving their library card and pin.

Members are able to download a maximum of up to two e books at one time with the limit of 21 days before the book expires and wipes automatically from the device.

As a result of the Kindle becoming the number one bestseller of Amazon in 2011, there is a worry that e readers will eventually take over ruling paper back books out completely. However Middlesbrough library are confident this will not be the case.

Julie Tweed says, “I don’t think real books will be replaced, people still want both and there is still a need for both. You can’t really take away the traditional book and they work in different ways.

“Its giving people the option if they are sat on a train and have finished your book you can sit there and download a new one.

“So it gives people access all the time to books but I think it will be an awful long time before the traditional book actually goes, people love it too much.”

When searching for books on the Internet from websites such as Amazon, shoppers are now able to compare the price of paper backs, hard backs and electronic editions of most books.

Electronic editions are normally always the cheaper option due the to lack of print and paper, therefore becoming the most money efficient.

E Books are designed to hold around 3,000 books on one compact handy device which is smaller and lighter than the average book.

As a result of the Amazon Kindle becoming the number one bestseller of 2011, the e book is a product that has become popular with people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

In celebration of their 100th anniversary there are a number of events being held over the year open to the public. The birthday celebration will be hosted at the library on the 8th of May during the annual local history month.

For all other events please see the Middlesbrough Council website for further details, www.middlesbrough.gov.uk .


About Leanne Daisy Johnson

I am an aspiring young journalist currently studying an MA in Journalism with a background in Fashion Communication.
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