Area librarian Shelby Powell, of the Cariboo Regional District's 100 Mile House library, shows off the top picks this year. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

E-books capture new readers at Cariboo libraries

South Cariboo residents appear to be hitting the e-books, TV shows and movies at the local library.

More South Cariboo residents appear to be hitting the e-books, TV shows and movies at the local library.

The number of e-book requests and other electronic downloads has been on the rise at South Cariboo libraries such as 100 Mile House and Clinton during the COVID pandemic.

At 100 Mile House library, run by the Cariboo Regional District, area librarian Shelby Powell said she has noticed an uptick in the number of people registering or renewing library cards, and asking how to download e-books since the library reopened after the summer.

She suspects this may be attributed to the fact that this year the library started allowing residents to sign up for cards over the phone. Patrons previously had to come into the branch to do so, she said.

“It’s definitely increased,” she said about the demand for e-books. “We hadn’t had as much interest before we closed down (as a result of the pandemic).”

The CRD, which is responsible for the 100 Mile, Lac La Hache, Forest Grove and Interlakes libraries, is still tallying the stats for 2020 so no specific numbers were available. Local librarians say Forest Grove library has seen about the same number of users wanting books and DVDs, while Lac La Hache has seen a drop off in users.

READ MORE: 100 Mile Library reopens

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District, which is responsible for the Clinton library and the mobile unit that visits 70 Mile and South Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department, reports a 30 percent increase in the number of electronic products since the pandemic began, said Melissa Lowenberg, the TNRD’s manager of community libraries & engagement.

She noted the libraries increased their online products this year through the Hoopla app, which allows people to download TV series and movies via the Library’s Wi-Fi to a personal device and take them home to watch. They can only take out three each month “so you have to watch it like you did old-school TV before Netflix binge-watching,” Lowenberg said.

Across the TNRL, the Libby app is used to locate and download a variety of free e-content. “Audiobooks, e-magazines and ebooks really took off during the pandemic,” Lowenberg said.

C.J Box topped the list of the most popular items at both the 100 Mile and Clinton libraries, while mysteries and crime thrillers are also hot. In Clinton, John Grisham’s Camino winds, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and the Titanic Secret by Clive Cussler rounded off the top books, while movies include A Dog’s Journey, Ford v Ferrari, Terminator. Dark fate.

In, 100 Mile, the Blue Bloods TV series and Game of Thrones are highly popular, Powell said.

She added while e-books are more popular, she said, people are still coming in for an actual book. Some are even checking out larger quantities than usual, she said, while parents tend to be the big users of the curbside pickup these days.

The library quarantines all books and movies for 72 hours before they will be reissued.


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