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Thousands of free magazines and movies for library members - council

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Far North library members are making the most of a huge number of newspapers, magazines, academic papers and top international films and documentaries now available online for free.

The Council, supported by the National Library, has taken advantage of Government COVID-19 funding for public libraries and has subscribed to Beamafilm, PressReader and the academic journal EBSCO.

The subscription to Beamafilm means library members can watch hundreds of documentaries and indie feature films online. Meanwhile, a six-month trial subscription to PressReader allows members to read and download thousands of newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post, Newsweek and Rolling Stone.

The Government funding was part of a $60 million cash injection for New Zealand libraries announced to assist economic recovery from COVID-19 in Budget 2020 last May.

Since launching the new services on 11 September, Far North Library members have read 4530 articles through PressReader and viewed 310 movies via Beamafilm.

Far North Mayor John Carter says the recent COVID-19 lockdown was a wakeup call for Far North libraries. "Our libraries provided a good range of online services, but staff realised there was much more we could and should offer members if an extended period of isolation at home was repeated."

The Beamafilm service was selected so the library could stay ahead of viewing trends. Borrowing statistics for DVD titles show that Far North Library members love watching movies, but fewer DVDs are now being released as online viewing options increase. Beamafilm allows members to access the latest releases and multiple members can watch a movie at the same time. By contrast, only one person can read an eBook at a time.

Mayor Carter says the six-month subscription to PressReader was selected so members could read news from around the world. "There is a lot of interest in overseas politics at the moment and this was an opportunity to respond to requests for papers like The Washington Post. There are also more requests for foreign language content, which PressReader also provides access to."

He says that if demand for the services warrants it, the Council will likely make the subscriptions permanent. "These are great services that improve business and recreational opportunities in the Far North. But the simple message is: use it or lose it."

Anyone living in the Far North, or paying rates on a property in the district, is entitled to a free Far North Library membership. They can access online services through the Council’s website but will require a library personal identification number (PIN) to access library eResources. Customers can request a PIN at any of the Council’s six library branches.

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