Digital book lending continues significant growth, with audiobooks increasing fastest


BOSTON— January 7, 2016 — Librarians across the nation are celebrating the record-setting pace that their digital collections are lending as they convene at the American Library Association’s (ALA) Midwinter Conference, January 8-11, 2015.  OverDrive announced today that among the hundreds of libraries across North America that have set annual records for lending digital books during 2015, 33 library systems exceeded one million digital books circulated.  Additionally, all systems experienced significant year-over-year growth from 2014.

As the industry leader in digital lending for public and school libraries, OverDrive reports that in 2015 public library readers borrowed more than 169 million eBooks, audiobooks, digital periodicals and streaming video.  This represents an increase of 24 percent over 2014.  Digital audiobooks, in particular, grew at the highest rate (+36%).  See more 2015 statistics here.

The following libraries circulated at least one million digital books in 2015:

3 million or more digital books circulated

  • Toronto Public Library (ON) +31% growth over 2014

2 million or more digital books circulated

  • King County Library System (WA) +25%
  • New York Public Library (NY) +24%

1 million or more digital books circulated

  • Los Angeles Public Library (CA) +40%
  • Seattle Public Library (WA) +24%
  • CLEVNET (OH) +26%
  • Hennepin County Library (MN) +14%
  • Cuyahoga County Public Library (OH) +37%
  • Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (OH) +39%
  • Calgary Public Library (AB) +15%
  • Broward County Library (FL) +20%
  • Fairfax County Public Library (VA) +31%
  • Phoenix Public Library (AZ) +38%
  • San Francisco Public Library (CA) +41%
  • Pikes Peak Library District (CO) +35%
  • Indianapolis Public Library (IN) +24%
  • Boston Public Library (MA) +27%
  • Mid-Continent Public Library (MO) +25%
  • The Free Library of Philadelphia (PA) +12%
  • Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative (FL) +31%

In addition to these city and county libraries, 13 library consortia circulated at least one million digital books in 2015 including: Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (21% growth in circulation over 2014), Greater Phoenix Digital Library (AZ) (18%), The Ohio Digital Library (23%) with over three million digital books borrowed; Tennessee READS (24%), Digital Downloads – A Library Collaboration (OH) (24%) and Maryland’s Digital Library (21%) with over two million; Ontario Library Service Consortium (20%) , Oregon Digital Library Consortium (13%), North Carolina Digital Library (22%), Kentucky Libraries Unbound (30%), My Media Mall (IL) (7%), (NY) (25%) and Midwest Collaborative for Library Services (MI) (18%) with over one million.

As digital circulation continues to soar, OverDrive has developed tools to help libraries serve entire communities and enhance the user experience.  Visit OverDrive’s booth #1653 at ALA Midwinter, January 8-11 in Boston, to see these latest innovations and learn more:

  • The New OverDrive platform, a groundbreaking update with blazing speed and ultimate ease of use that helps onboard new users quickly and easily.
  • OverDrive Insights” a series of reports, dashboards and real-time analytics that help librarians manage budget and boost circulation.
  • OverDrive Read-Along eBooks, which synchronizes audio and text in popular children’s books
  • More access models to maximize title availability for users and ROI for libraries.

Public library patrons across the U.S. and Canada can enjoy eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video on a single website via smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops and other major devices. Find your library at


About OverDrive
OverDrive is the leading digital distribution platform, supplying the industry’s largest catalog of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and periodicals to 34,000 libraries, schools and retailers worldwide. We support all major computers and devices, including iOS®, Android™, Chromebook™ and Kindle® (U.S. only). OverDrive delivers all digital media on a single platform, and offers innovations such as OverDrive Read, the breakthrough EPUB and HTML5 browser-based reading experience, and Read-Along eBooks.  Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and is owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten. For more information, visit or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and our blog.


David Burleigh

Director of Marketing & Communications

216-573-6886 ext. 218