Digital is the next chapter

But the City of Armadale said 97 per cent of loans at its libraries were hard copy books.

Funding cuts to the state’s 232 public libraries were announced last week, which would result in 62,000 fewer books purchased.

The City of Armadale has three public libraries.

Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones said of almost 392,000 loans in the 2014-15 financial year, just 3 per cent were e-book loans.

“In straight dollar numbers, based on the dollar allocation that the City received from the State for purchasing stock of $191,000 for our library service for the 2015-16 year, that will be a reduction of almost $10,000 in 2016-17 and just over $19,000 from 2018-19,” Mr Zelones said.

“The hard copy book lending function of our libraries is still the most popular medium.”

Mr Zelones said the government’s decision to stop the van service that transfers books between metropolitan libraries would have a negative effect.

He also flagged computer services as a popular part of library services.

“However, usage of the public access computers is very high with demand growing to meet the needs of the community as more and more of this is available only digitally,” he said.

“The library computers are heavily used by people doing online employment applications and responding to government requirements that can only be completed online.”

The City of Gosnells has also flagged fewer books, with large print formats, DVDs and audio books likely to be cut.

“It is understood that inter-|library loans will be curtailed impacting customers who wish to borrow items which are held in collections outside the City,” chief executive Ian Cowie said.

“The City’s libraries already provide extensive e-learning and e-reading options. However, hard copy books still remain incredibly popular for library users.”