Tipperary library users will be able to borrow ebooks from their libraries this summer, according to Emer O’Brien of the Tipperary Joint Libraries Committee.
The new service will mean that book borrowers will be able to download books on their home computers, she told the final meeting of the committee.
However, she reminded the committee that books “are still the core of our business”, and revealed that 470,000 books were issued last year through County Tipperary libraries.
Membership was also up 15 per cent to 21,500, and that did not include the 17,000 primary school pupils who use the facilities, she said.
Tipperary libraries saw 12,500 visitors each week, and a book was issued every 2.5 minutes.
However, the library also had good usage of other facilities such as its computer terminals, which saw 66,000 sessions in the past year.
“The majority of book borrowers are on social welfare and the libraries are a distraction from boredom and keeping people mentally agile,” she said.
Ms O’Brien said that in some cases, librarians were also counsellors as people looked to them for advice.
Meanwhile, the committee was told by acting librarian Jess Codd that the service had a balance of E69,460 last year, with receipts of E2.984m and outgoings of E2.913m.