RETFORD bookworms will be able to download E-books free of charge from 2nd April this year.
The decision to scrap the £1 charge per e-book issue, was made last week by Notts County Council’s Culture Committee.
The authority believes its E-book service can now be delivered to customers free of charge following the initial charge introduced 18 months ago to set up the scheme as a pilot.
The news co-incides with a study by German researchers which suggests that elderly people could benefit from using E-readers or tablet computers rather than books as they apparently place less strain on the eyes.
Coun John Cottee, culture committee chairman at Notts County Council said: “It is further good news for library users in Nottinghamshire that we are now able to scrap the £1 cost for E-books.”
“The county council has a clear strategy to preserve libraries at the heart of local communities which is why we are committed to keeping all of our 60 libraries open and offer free internet access within the libraries.”
He added: “We also recognise the importance and growing demand for e-books so we hope this announcement to scrap the £1 cost for this service within our library service will further benefit the public.”
Publisher restrictions mean that not all titles by authors are stocked by the county council’s E-books service but it currently has around 2,200 titles with more being added each month.
Some of the well-known authors whose E-books are stocked include James Patterson, Lee Child, Dick Francis, Nicci French, Terry Pratchett, Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz and Malorie Blackman.
The county council has also welcomed around 1,000 users in just three months to its new E-magazine service. The most popular e-magazine to date is New Scientist, with BBC Good Food, HELLO, Esquire and NME being in the top 20 most clicked on.
Visit www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/libraries for more details.