Libraries lend 506 million ebooks, audiobooks and digital magazines in 2021



Overdrive is the largest digital distributor for public libraries. The company serves 76,000 libraries and schools in 94 countries. In 2021, 506 million e-books, audiobooks and digital magazines were loaned, representing a 16% increase from 2020. 121 public library systems in seven countries obtained one million or more loans from digital books, while four school systems in two countries have reached this milestone. . Libby added new users at an all time high in 2021 and now accounts for 60% of how readers enjoyed reading digital content.

Education is one of Overdrive’s emerging sectors. They focused on their Sora e-reader application for this industry. School circulation of digital books with the Sora student reading app increased by 65%. Public library digital collections have enabled 4.7 million books to be borrowed by students for self-selected reading on the Sora app, an increase of 117%.

Most popular eBooks borrowed from libraries in 2021:

  1. The four winds by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Publishing Group, St. Martin’s Press)
  2. The midnight library by Matt Haig (Penguin Publishing Group, Viking)
  3. The half that faints by Brit Bennett (Penguin Publishing Group, Riverhead Books)
  4. The guest list by Lucy Foley (HarperCollins, William Morrow Paperback)
  5. Nomadic country by Jessica Bruder (WW Norton & Company)

Most popular audiobooks borrowed from libraries in 2021:

  1. A promised land by Barack Obama (Penguin Random House Audio)
  2. Where the crayfish sing by Delia Owens (Penguin Random House Audio)
  3. Cold mourning by Brenda Chapman (Dundurn)
  4. The four winds by Kristin Hannah (Macmillan Audio)
  5. Green light by Matthew McConaughey (Penguin Random House Audio)

Most popular magazines borrowed from libraries in 2021:

  1. Us weekly (A360 Media, LLC)
  2. The Economist (The Economist Newspaper Limited)
  3. The New Yorker (Condé Nast US)
  4. SALVATION! (Hello! Limited)
  5. HGTV Magazine (Hearst)

Top digital books borrowed from libraries by genre:


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