Read all about it: Edinburgh libraries scoop top digital award for newspaper downloads

Edinburgh Libraries has scooped a top global award after the Capital’s residents read and downloaded over 2,000 different newspaper titles – more than anywhere else in the world.

Central Library, Edinburgh

Readers in the capital downloaded nearly 2 million copies of newspapers and magazines.

Edinburgh Evening News and the Scotsman were the most popular titles with 16,490 and with 22,400 issues viewed during lockdown.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pressreader, a digital platform where people can read newspapers and magazines online, awarded Edinburgh Libraries with the Most Newspapers Read in 2020 Worldwide accolade after 2,155 unique titles were read by its members last year, beating off competition from 100 other organisations.

Scottish newspapers headed the list of most popular downloads but other top titles included the Washington Post, the Spanish newspaper El Pais and the Irish Times. There are titles on the platform from over 100 countries and 60 languages.

Edinburgh Libraries were at the forefront of the digital revolution in Scotland by introducing a downloadable book service in 2010 for its 28 libraries.

Councillor Donald Wilson, Convener of Culture and Communities, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and congratulations must go to Edinburgh Libraries for leading the digital revolution in Scotland. Our teams had the foresight to introduce Pressreader five years ago and we knew our digital users would love the platform but we didn’t expect demand to be quite so high.

“Having over 2,000 titles downloaded in many different languages is evidence of the warm welcome Edinburgh gives to citizens from across the world who choose to come here to live, work and study. Digital delivery is core to a modern library service and Pressreader is just one of many online offers including ebooks and Eaudiobooks that users can access.”

Councillor Amy McNeese-Mechan, Vice Convener of Culture and Communities, said: “With many of our libraries closed due to the impact of Covid-19 many people were prompted to move online and thanks to the investment in digital services we were able to cope with the increased demand. Being able to offer this service remotely is really important in the pandemic as it allows us to support users who may be house-bound or can’t visit our libraries as they are currently closed.”

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.