Book lovers are turning to libraries to borrow rather than buy during the recession.

Library visits have increased by more than 100,000 in Brighton and Hove from 2007/08 to 2008/09 and membership has increased by 20,000.

As well as borrowing books, library users are also making the most of free DVDs and CDs.

There is also free internet access for members, which many are using to look for work.

Councillor David Smith, Brighton and Hove City Council’s cabinet member for culture, said: “Twenty percent of our computer users say they are job hunting, so we are playing our part in helping people in the recession.

“Nearly half of library computer users have no internet access at home.

“We offer free access to newspapers, employers’ websites and job vacancies online. Our resources are particularly valuable for people who are self-employed or are volunteers.

“People tell us that they have more scope to look for work and find jobs because the service is free.

“The sorts of comments we have from members of the public are that they would not be able to afford similar facilities at home, that it saves them money and the library’s resources have helped them get work.”