Rising demand for digital content led to record library circulation in Libby reading app



LONDON – 1 December 2021Nearly two years after the pandemic-induced surge in digital content usage, the demand for digital materials remains high. Over the past year, UK library authorities have met their communities’ needs with record issues of digital titles. The lists of 2021’s most popular ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines downloaded from UK library authorities using its services were released today by OverDrive, the creator of the award-winning Libby reading app.

OverDrive currently provides ebook, audiobook, digital magazine and digital newspaper access to more than 3,000 libraries up and down the country – almost a tenfold increase since November 2019. Library users with a valid library card and the Libby reading app can borrow and read their local library’s digital materials 24/7 on any device.

”The staff running public libraries have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to adapt their services to meet their community’s changing needs, and we’re proud to have played a part in helping them provide so much of what borrowers want,” said Nick Forster, Regional Manager for OverDrive. “A lot of people discovered their libraries’ digital collections for the first time during lockdown – and we’re seeing that their use of online services is continuing to grow even as library branches have been able to reopen.”

In addition to ebooks and audiobooks, thousands of UK libraries now offer more than 3,000 popular digital magazines that are always available to borrow and read in Libby (top titles below). In addition, thousands of libraries also offer digital newspapers through the Libby app including The Daily Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Daily Express, The Scotsman and more.

Top 10 Digital Magazines from UK Public Libraries in 2021

  1. Radio Times
  2. The Economist
  3. HELLO!
  4. New Scientist
  5. Good Housekeeping
  6. BBC Good Food Magazine
  7. Woman’s Weekly
  8. Auto Express
  9. Computeractive
  10. Woman

Top 10 Ebooks from UK Public Libraries in 2021

  1. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
  2. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  3. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. The Secret, Book & Scone Society by Ellery Adams
  5. Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart
  6. The Sentinel by Lee Child
  7. The Darkest Evening by Ann Cleeves
  8. Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards
  9. Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
  10. Bridgerton Collection, Volume 1 by Julia Quinn

Top 10 Audiobooks from UK Public Libraries in 2021

  1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling
  2. Cold Mourning by Brenda Chapman
  3. A Song for the Dark Times by Ian Rankin
  4. Becoming by Michelle Obama
  5. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  6. The Coffinmaker’s Garden by Stuart MacBride
  7. Mythos by Stephen Fry
  8. Butterfly Kills by Brenda Chapman
  9. Grown Ups by Marian Keyes
  10. Still Life by Val McDermid

OverDrive has been serving UK libraries since 2005 and has a dedicated team in the UK. A global company serving over 73,000 libraries and schools in 88 countries, OverDrive also sponsored the Libraries Connected Awards in 2021.

Readers in the UK can borrow ebooks audiobooks, digital magazines, digital newspapers and more from their local library by downloading the Libby app from the App Store or Google Play. For more information and to get started, visit https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/.



About OverDrive

OverDrive strives to create “a world enlightened by reading.” Serving a growing network of 73,000 libraries and schools in 88 countries, OverDrive delivers the industry’s largest digital catalogue 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. OverDrive recently acquired Kanopy, the leading streaming video service for public libraries and academic institutions. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA and was named a Certified B Corp in 2017. www.overdrive.com


Nick Forster

Regional Manager, EMEA Global Libraries and Education


David Burleigh
Director of Brand & Communications