THE rate of people joining York libraries has quadrupled since the lockdown began.

And one resident said her family uses the library more now than they did before the pandemic - praising the "fantastic" team.

York Explore has seen double the number of e-books checked out during the lockdown.

But other services include audiobooks available on mobile phones, free access to paid family history websites and a free subscription to read daily newspapers and hundreds of magazines online.

Library member Jenny Donnelly-Thompson said the library has "helped massively" as she spent 12 weeks self-isolating at home.

She said: "I have probably been using the library more than ever before since the lockdown.

“I noticed at first on audio they didn’t have anything for younger children and I have a four-year-old son.

“When I suggested it, they were really good and responded really quickly.

“Now rather than watching TV, we sit together listening to books like Peppa Pig and Funny Bones."

She added that she has been listening to her own audiobooks too, as well as using the new Press Reader service.

Jenny said: “They have also got their magazine subscription and it has been amazing.

“I’m a crafter and during the lockdown I can’t get to the shop to get magazines.

“Not only does the library have the magazines I want to read, it also has back issues, so that I can read copies even if they are not currently being released.

“It is such a fantastic service, I would encourage people to go online because you can sign up without having to go in to a library.”

York Explore's online library was already one of the most popular in the country before the lockdown, a spokesperson said.

The library has seen 514 people join in the past month - four times more than the previous month.

City of York Council put £17,000 towards subscribing to Press Reader, buying more audiobooks and e-books and help to get more people online to use the services.

Visit to join online.