Library members enjoy free online entertainment

Melburnians are consuming our free e-books, audiobooks, online magazines, newspapers, films, music and learning resources like never before.

Usage of digital library materials surged by 23 per cent, compared to this time last year, as people began to stay home to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

We recorded our highest ever number of online loans (including 8837 e-books and 10,345 audiobooks) and a 54 per cent jump in usage of our film streaming services.

There’s never been a better time to explore the huge range of entertainment available year-round. Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s on offer for City of Melbourne library members:

1. Choose e-books and audiobooks with recommendations from our Dear Reader and Desert Island Books podcasts, or our eBook Valet service

2. Catch up on the latest news through online magazines and newspapers

3. Stream TV shows, educational videos, art house films and documentaries thanks to our partnerships with Beamafilm and Kanopy

4. Download your favourite music, from classical to contemporary, and discover new artists thanks to our partnerships with Freegal and Naxos

5. Research the history of your house through our local history resources

6. Study or refine a skill, such as photo-retouching or songwriting, through free and unlimited access to a huge number of courses on Lynda

7. Entertain your kids with story time sessions on our YouTube channel, or browse our online kids’ corner

8. Hear hand-picked stories and poems read aloud in our Virtual Story Lounge, a story time for adults, on YouTube – join the discussion by posting a comment, or just enjoy the simple pleasure of being read to

9. Get monthly updates by subscribing to our libraries newsletter

To find out more, visit Libraries. If you’re not already a City of Melbourne library member, you can sign up online.

If you have questions, you can also ask a library team member online through our new library chat service (click on the speech bubble in the bottom right of your browser).

Councillor Dr Jackie Watts, Chair of the Knowledge City portfolio, said our libraries were experiencing a resurgence even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Libraries are no longer just a place to borrow a book, they’re an all-encompassing space enabling the community to learn about and have free access to new technologies,’ Cr Watts said.

‘We are all adjusting our lives to cope with COVID-19 and many of us may be looking for new activities. I encourage everyone to take a good look at the City of Melbourne’s website to explore the impressive range of services and resources our libraries have to offer – for free.’

Did you know
Melbourne is one of 39 cities around the world recognised as a UNESCO City of Literature.