Council libraries expand digital collections to meet surging demand

Monday 23 August 2021

In response to surging demand, Inner West libraries have expanded their digital collections, with a focus on education and educational entertainment.

All digital services are experiencing record usage in the past year.

The dramatically increased usage is attributed to a combination of home schooling and stay at home orders.

Parents are using the digital services to assist in children and youth’s education.

In response, Inner West libraries have added new databases to the digital collection:

• The National Geographic Virtual Library provides research insight from journalism's most trusted name in exploration and discovery

National Geographic Kids gives children access to adventures in science, nature, culture, archaeology, and space

ComicsPLUS can deliver hours of entertainment for children (and adults) with thousands of digital comics, and manga

• The Gale catalogue has access to the world’s academic and education papers, ebooks and databases. The Gale student section is aligned to school, college and university curriculums

To support HSC students during the current lockdown, libraries HSC programs and events have moved online.

Youtube videos and online Zoom workshops covering a range of curriculum topics can also be accessed at

For more information on the resources available to assist children and youth call a librarian on 9392 5588.

Also in the past 12 months, digital newspaper downloads have almost tripled and digital and audiobooks have almost doubled to over 40,000 downloads.

With residents stuck at home, access to free movies, ebooks and audiobooks and newspapers have hit record numbers.

To address this, the libraries have contributed additional finances to meet demand and reduce waiting times on reservations of online resources.

The services are free to library members. While Inner West libraries are closed, IWC residents can sign up instantly online at

View the digital collection here.

Media enquiries: Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 9392 5334 or

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Page last updated: 23 Aug 2021