Popular authors plus free and convenient Libby app drive library lending to grow by 54 percent


BERLIN – 18 January 2024 – Librarians in Germany, Austria and Switzerland achieved new milestones in 2023 by providing increasingly robust download and streaming options to satisfy the interests of all ages and audiences. Readers throughout the region borrowed from public libraries 3.7 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines, a 54 percent increase year over year, which outpaces the OverDrive global network growth rate of 19 percent. Aggregated data was reported by OverDrive, the leading digital content platform for 92,000 libraries and schools in 115 countries worldwide, and creator of the award-winning free Libby library reading app.

As digital book lending continues to flourish in German, Austrian and Swiss public libraries and around the world, these community institutions remain an essential resource for free reading materials through the Libby app. Since 2021, German-speaking public libraries have seen a huge increase in ebook and audiobook checkouts. Audiobooks experienced a significant growth in population and circulation this year alone, continuing its meteoric rise in popularity over the past decade. Digital magazine checkouts also grew in 2023 by 149 percent, due in large part to the expanded selection as well as Libby’s recent one-tap magazine checkout feature. Verbund Öffentlicher Bibliotheken (VÖBB) in Berlin exceeded two million digital book checkouts in 2023, holding the strongest growth for a library outside North America (+46%) for the third consecutive year, with similar growth at Arbeiterkammer in Austria and Aubora in Switzerland.

2023 also marked the award-winning Libby app’s one billionth global digital book checkout. More than nine million people worldwide installed the Libby app in 2023 and became new library users, signaling the continued expansion of library services both inside and outside the branch.

2023 top digital books borrowed in the Libby reading app

  • Most popular German ebooks borrowed from German, Austrian and Swiss libraries in 2023:
    1. Weißer Flieder by Cecilia Sahlström (Leselounge mit Libby digital book club title)
    2. Zum Bösen verurteilt by Adrian Bednarek
    3. Eine Frage der Chemie by Bonnie Garmus, Luise Helm, Ulrike Wasel et al
    4. Der Hausmann Roman by Vlada Kolosowa, Raul Soria
    5. Rehragout-Rendezvous by Rita Falk, Christian Tramitz
  • Most popular German-language audiobooks borrowed from libraries in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2023:
    1. Weißer Flieder by Cecilia Sahlström (Leselounge mit Libby digital book club title)
    2. Über Menschen by Julia Zeh
    3. Eine Frage der Chemie by Bonnie Garmus, Luise Helm, Ulrike Wasel et al
    4. Meldody by Martin Suter, Andreas Fröhlich
    5. Du darfst nicht alles glauben, was du denkst–Meine Depression (Ungekürzte Lesung) by Kurt Krömer
  • Most popular digital magazines borrowed from German, Austrian and Swiss libraries in 2023:
    1. The New Yorker
    2. stern
    3. Brigitte
    4. Gala
    5. Schöner Wohnen

The Libby reading app provides readers with access to their local library’s extensive digital collection, including popular ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, cookbooks and more. To get started with Libby, library patrons can download the Libby app and sign in with a valid library card or sign up for one in the app.

To find a public library near you, download the Libby app (iOS, Android) or visit www.overdrive.com. To learn more about our library partnerships in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and how our dedicated team for the DACH region can help you, visit https://company.overdrive.com/deutsch/.

About OverDrive

OverDrive is a mission-based company that stands with libraries. Named a Certified B Corp in 2017, OverDrive serves more than 92,000 libraries and schools in 1135countries – including more than 400 in German – with the industry’s largest digital catalog of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, video and other content. OverDrive empowers libraries and schools by expanding access for all through tireless industry advocacy and consistent innovation. Award-winning apps and services include the Libby library reading app, the Sora student reading app, Kanopy, the leading video streaming app for libraries and colleges, and TeachingBooks.net, which offers one of the largest catalogs of supplemental materials that enhance literacy outcomes. Founded in 1986, OverDrive is based in Cleveland, Ohio USA. www.overdrive.com


Media contact:

David Burleigh
OverDrive Director of Brand & Communications

Kathrin Klass

First Klass Communication

+49 176 64848 565