65 Libraries Each Loaned Over a Million Titles Last Year

Rakuten Overdrive released its end of year report yesterday. The company now supports over 43,000 libraries and schools worldwide, including 65 public library systems that each loaned over 1 million digital books to readers in 2018.

Libraries working with Overdrive loaned over 274 million ebooks and audiobooks to card holders in the past year, a 22% increase over the previous year, which is the highest growth rate since 2015.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Total digital checkouts from libraries & schools: 274 million (+22% over 2017, the highest growth rate since 2015)
  • eBooks borrowed: 185 million (+19%)
  • Audiobooks borrowed: 88 million (+29%, outpacing ebooks for the 5th straight year)
  • Ebook and audiobook holds/wait listed: 107 million (+28%)
  • Children/YA checkouts/holds: 39 million (+27%)
  • 65 public library systems around the world (+12%) with over 1 million digital book checkouts, including 11 over 2 million checkouts, four over 3 million, five over 4 million and two over five million
  • New public library (digital) users: 4 million (+15%)

Most popular ebooks borrowed from libraries in 2018:

  1. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press)
  2. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Press)
  3. The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow)
  4. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Ballantine Books)
  5. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Anchor)

Most popular audiobooks borrowed from libraries in 2018

  1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling (Pottermore)
  2. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (Penguin Press)
  3. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson (HarperAudio)
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (Random House Audio)
  5. A Wrinkle In Time by Madeleine L’engle (Listening Library)

Top digital books borrowed from libraries by genre:

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.

1 Comment

  1. Steve H.10 January, 2019

    You don’t even need to take books back to the library. A great resource.


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