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Newcastle
Monday, October 26, 2020
Oak Tree Retirement Village
Oak Tree Retirement Village

Libraries’ new digital direction

A collection of books, CDs and other items are now at the fingertips of thousands of smartphone users thanks to a new digital direction at Lake Mac Libraries.

Lake Macquarie City Council launched a new Lake Mac Libraries app for Apple and Android devices this week, with users able to track loans, access e-books and search the entire 600,000-plus catalogue to view and reserve items at any branch.

The app’s launch coincides with the unveiling of an upgraded Lake Mac Libraries website, and new self-checkout kiosks at Belmont, Charlestown, Cardiff, Speers Point, Swansea, Toronto and Morisset branches.

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Manager Arts, Culture and Tourism, Jacqui Hemsley, said the new kiosks were much simpler to use and operated via an intuitive touchscreen to make borrowing easier and quicker.

“They’ve specifically been designed for people of all ages and literacy levels,” Ms Hemsley said.

“Across the board, our aim is to bring our libraries into the modern era and make them more accessible to everyone in the community.”

With the new app, library users can use their smartphone as a library card, managing multiple accounts using one device.

The app will also provide access to thousands of e-audiobooks and using GPS-powered information it will advise users of their closest library branch and how to get there.

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser said the streamlined website was easier to navigate and compatible across mobile, desktop and tablet devices.

“Lake Macquarie residents certainly love our libraries and all they have to offer,” Cr Fraser said.

“This will make it even easier to search for and borrow the wide range of titles and items in our collection.”

Lake Mac Libraries customers borrowed almost one million books and other items in 2019.

Digital loans increased significantly in that period, as people shift towards e-books and e-music.

“We’re expecting that trend to accelerate with the roll-out of the new app and improved website,” Ms Hemsley added.

To download the new app, search “Lake Mac Libraries” in your app store.

The new website is available at library.lakemac.com.au.

First National Altitude
First National Altitude