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Berks County Public Libraries Purchase Digital Books with Remaining ARPA Funds

by Berks County Public Libraries

Jun 03, 2022

The Berks County Public Library (BCPL) System finalized the last of two significant purchases to its countywide digital collection, spending the remaining $50,000 of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to increase the number of electronic materials available to Berks County residents. Nearly 1,600 digital titles were added to the online collection, bringing the total number of eBooks and eAudiobooks to over 30,000.

The library system received approximately $100,000 of ARPA funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) which were made available through the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Office of Commonwealth Libraries (OCL) to support long-term work and library recovery in Pennsylvania.

Patron interest in digital materials surged during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but electronic borrowing remained at an all-time high, prompting Berks County library directors to spend the ARPA funds to increase and diversify reading material within the shared online collection.

New eBook and eAudiobook additions include:

  • Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
  • Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh
  • Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism by Laurie Lears, Karen Ritz
  • History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  • We Sang You Home by Richard Van Camp, Julie Flett

Berks County Public Library cardholders can borrow these and other books on desktop or through the Libby app for mobile devices and tablets. Instructions on getting started with your library’s digital collection are available online at

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