Libraries across County Durham will showcase the part they play in the digital world as part of a nationwide campaign next week.

Libraries Week 2019 (7 to 12 October) celebrates the nation’s much-loved libraries and encourages people to visit their local branch to read, get creative, get connected and learn new skills.

Throughout the week, Durham County Council libraries will be raising awareness of the digital services they offer. There will also be free drop-in sessions for adults at many branches where people can learn how to access and use online resources.

The online resources available to library members include:

  • Library Online – join the library, browse the catalogue, request an item or renew an item already on loan online.
  • BorrowBox – borrow a huge range of eBooks, eAudiobooks and eMagazines free of charge.
  • Encyclopaedia Britannica – access a fact-checked online encyclopaedia with hundreds of thousands of objective articles, biographies, videos and images.
  • Ancestry – explore the UK’s largest family history website.
  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography – access more than 60,000 biographies, 72 million words, 11,000 portraits and more.
  • RBDigital eMagazines – choose from many titles with the same pictures, layout and text as the printed versions.

Cllr Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “Our libraries are the place to go to find a good book, but as a library member in County Durham you can also access a wealth of exciting and inspiring material online.

“As part of Libraries Week 2019, we are celebrating how our libraries are engaging with communities through technology and the many benefits this brings. For as well as being an easy way to borrow eBooks and manage your library account, by using our online services you can develop your digital skills. In today’s digital world, these skills are so important in terms of education, employability, health and wellbeing.”

Libraries Week coincides with the launch of Durham Book Festival and visitors to council libraries across the county will be able to download an eBook or eAudiobook of Colm Tóibín’s award-winning novel Brooklyn throughout the festival (5 to 13 October).

The free sessions taking place are:

Introduction to BorrowBox and eMagazines

  • Barnard Castle Library, Wednesday 9 October, 2pm to 4pm

Coffee Morning to discover the library digital offer

  • Blackhall Library, Friday 11 October, 10am to 11am
  • Newton Aycliffe Library, Thursday 10 October, 10am to 12pm
  • Spennymoor Library, Monday 7 October, 9.30am to 12pm

Drop-in session to discover the library digital offer

  • Crook Library, Tuesday 8 October, 10am to 12.30pm
  • Durham Clayport Library, Tuesday 8 October, 3.30pm to 7pm
  • Horden Library, Friday 11 October, 3pm to 5pm
  • Newton Aycliffe Library, Friday 11 October, 12pm to 3pm
  • Seaham Library Thursday 10 and Friday 11 October, 9.30am to 12pm

Getting started on Ancestry Online

  • Esh Winning Library, Monday 7 October, 2pm to 4pm.

To find out more about Library Week activities visit,