Over 100 Public Libraries Exceed 1 Million Digital Book Checkouts in 2020
Toronto Public Library #1 worldwide for 8th straight year and Los Angeles Public Library retains top spot for US digital libraries
CLEVELAND – January 12, 2021 – A record 102 public library systems from around the world empowered readers to borrow over 1 million ebooks and audiobooks from their digital collections in 2020. This represents the most systems ever to reach this milestone through OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform. Contributing factors include increased digital book usage due to the pandemic, elevated interest in social justice titles and BIPOC authors and strong circulation growth for children’s and young adult titles because of remote learning.
These 102 systems from the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand achieved the elite “Million Checkout Club” status with 29 reaching the milestone for the first time. Noteworthy achievements include Toronto Public Library attaining the highest number of checkouts in OverDrive history for the 8th time (8 million), Santa Clara County Library (CA) attaining the highest year-over-year circulation growth (147%) of any Million Checkout Club library and Los Angeles Public Library earning the title of #1 library system in the U.S. for the second year in a row.
The complete list of Million Checkout Club libraries can be found here.
The top 10 ebook and digital audiobook-circulating library systems for 2020:
- Toronto Public Library
- Los Angeles Public Library
- King County Library System (WA)
- National Library Board Singapore
- New York Public Library
- Multnomah County Library (OR)
- Seattle Public Library
- Hennepin County Library (MN)
- Harris County Public Library (TX)
- Calgary Public Library (AB, Canada)
The top 5 ebook and digital audiobook-circulating consortia and shared collections:
- Wisconsin Public Library Consortium
- The Ohio Digital Library
- Greater Phoenix Digital Library
- Tennessee READS
- Digital Downloads Collaboration (OH)
In 2020, these libraries joined the “Million Checkout Club” for digital books the first time:
- Saskatchewan Library Consortium
- Bergen County Coop. Library System (NJ)
- Westchester Library System (NY)
- Camellia Net Digital Catalog
- Vancouver Public Library
- OC Public Libraries
- Montgomery County Public Libraries
- Buffalo & Erie County Public Library
- NorthNet Library System
- Download Destination
- Ocean State Libraries eZone
- San Jose Public Library
- Fort Vancouver Reg. Library District
- Contra Costa County Library
- Peninsula Library System
- eLibrary NJ
- NC Kids Digital Library
- Northern California Digital Library
- Santa Clara County Library
- Hamilton Public Library
- Henrico County Public Library
- Timberland Regional Library
- Pima County Public Library
- Halifax Public Libraries
- Hawaii State Public Library System
- Douglas County Libraries
- Mississauga Library System
Public libraries reached record digital circulation through innovative activities and campaigns designed to raise awareness of and engagement with digital books. Examples include:
- Stratford Public Library in Canada created a video series highlighting the perks of library card membership including access to digital books that advertised in movie theatres across the city.
- Northvale Public Library (NJ) transitioned their children’s library programming to virtual by streaming events on their library Instagram and Facebook Live.
- Wake County Public Libraries (NC) produced a Libby app training video promoted via Wake County Government’s website and covered by local news.
- The second Libraries Transform Book Pick, an American Library Association sponsored event in September, connected thousands of readers across the U.S. with a featured ebook through their public libraries to generate conversation across communities.
To find a public library near you, download the Libby app (iOS, Android) or visit www.overdrive.com.
OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 65,000 libraries and schools in 84 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines and other content through award-winning apps. The Libby reading app for libraries is one of Popular Mechanics’ 20 Best Apps of the Decade, while the student reading app Sora is one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2019. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017. www.overdrive.com
Director of Brand & Communications