Over 105 libraries in Canada, the USA, Europe and Australia are on pace to loan out over 1 million ebooks in 2020. Digital circulation has consistently grown each year, but thus far in 2020, these top libraries are seeing a staggering 30% growth compared to 2019. And several of them are doubling their online checkouts.
Continuing to lead the way with more than 4.4 million digital checkouts already in 2020 is Toronto Public Library, the highest circulating library system of 2019. They’re followed by six other systems with more than 3 million checkouts. Overall these top libraries have amassed nearly 130 million checkouts already for the year.
This year has been unique for a myriad of reasons, as we all know, and perhaps most of which is the massive amount of time we’re all spending at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Libraries around the world, despite many of their physical branches being closed, are still finding ways to connect readers to books through their digital collections. One such way has been through OverDrive’s Instant Digital Card. From March through June, more than 300,000 Instant Digital library Cards were created through OverDrive websites and Libby, generating millions of additional checkouts that otherwise wouldn’t have occurred.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.